To understand how social media is changing adult learning, all you have to do is take a look at your phone, tablet or computer. You are connected to at least three different social media portals at all times that enable you to stay in constant contact with the people around you.
Furthermore, on these social media portals you can communicate with your friends and family, as well as some of your professional and academic connections. Therefore, you are able to have amicable conversations, as well as formal work related ones.
This is the main reason why social media has managed to become intertwined with our professional lives. Its immense accessibility makes it possible for us to learn new things in just a few clicks or taps, which is extremely important for the development of education.
What Is Social Media?
Social media might be somewhat of a novelty for those who are not up to date with the latest technology, but its major advantage is that it is extremely easy to learn and get used to. It can actually get quite addictive after a few days, so the accommodation period will definitely be short for those looking to learn new things.
The social media definition presents these portals as websites and applications for smartphones/tablets that allow users to create content and to share it amongst one another, thus participating in social networking.
How Does Social Media Work?
To make a long story short, social media sites allow people to produce their own content in the form of statuses and comments, as well as images and videos that they can discuss and share with their cyber connections.
And while this might not seem all that appealing at first, being able to communicate with people from all over the world and from a wide variety of social backgrounds has proven to be an immensely interesting experience for the people who have tried it.
All you have to do in order to be a part of this virtual communication ground is to create a profile on the social media site of your choice and then log in for the fun. You are going to have a blast discovering your friends’ profiles because you will get a chance to know their cyber personas.
You can even use these profiles as inspiration for your own. Add pictures, descriptions of yourself, personal preferences and everything that you want people to know about you. You have the opportunity to portray yourself exactly as you want to be seen by those around you, so accentuate all of your best traits.
Once you complete these steps, you are ready to interact with your cyber friends. Write comments or private messages, become a member of forums and groups and discover all the new possibilities you have out there.
Another interesting new thing you will love to get used to is the feed format that most social media sites abide by. This means that you will view a seemingly endless list of your friends’ posts, along with the comments that other users have made.
This will give you access to information that you might not have chosen to read about. The element of surprise will make your experience exciting and will widen your horizons. We guarantee that social media networking will quickly become a part of your daily routine and that you have quite a few things to learn from it.
The Main Uses of Social Media
Social media sites bring people from various cultural and professional backgrounds together on the same platforms. This has given way to a more complex communication, due to the different standpoints that people have regarding a wide range of issues. However, social networking has many different uses that are well worth your attention. Take a look!
Undoubtedly, this is the main use of social media. People can stay up to date with their favorite things by connecting with other people who share the same passions. Furthermore, most portals can now actually give you more of what you like best, by prioritizing the posts about the topics you are most interested in.
Staying Connected With Your Society
Social media news combines the latest happenings from all around the world to the latest things that your friends have been up to lately. On one hand you can see your friends’ takes on the news and on the other hand, you get to stay updated on what’s new about the people around you.
On social media, you can join a wide range of groups and forums that discuss the professional areas you are most interested in. Furthermore, you can subscribe to the official pages of institutions, organizations, companies and publications, so that you can stay updated in your field of choice.
Due to the fact that it can reach millions and millions of people from all around the world at the same time and bring them together on the same platform, social media plays a very influent role in our society nowadays. Therefore, you can expect official social media pages to be professionally created and permanently updated.
Thus, by simply logging in to a social media site, you have access to relevant information that you can assimilate in a casual and welcoming environment. Then you can discuss this information with your peers, as well as people who take a very different approach on these matters.
The result is that you will be able to see how the information has been received by various members of your society, which will give you vital insight into the core of the matter.
How Does Social Media Affect Adult Learning Directly?
Whether you are taking a course, continuing your education or simply using the internet to learn new skills, you should expect social media to be a part of it. Its primary roles are to facilitate your access to the information you need and to improve communication between you and your peers.
Social Media Groups
Regardless of the focus area and the level of the course you are taking, there is bound to be a support group destined for all the people taking it. This keeps them connected to each other, thus improving teamwork and offers them easy access to organizational news, which could prove extremely useful.
If one member has an issue, it can be immediately seen by all the other members of the group which makes it much easier for the issue to be resolved quickly. Furthermore, they get to communicate and know each other better because most people seem to be able to overcome their social inhibition online.
Diverse Information about the Topic
By subscribing to the major social media icons like Facebook and Twitter, people can stay connected to influent people in their field of choice, as well as organizations, companies, and publications. Furthermore, they can choose to filter the information they receive in their news feeds so that it is mainly focused on topics they are interested in.
Therefore, they can read about the same topic presented from a wide range of significant standpoints. This is extremely important because it offers the viewer a multilayered approach to this topic, which is crucial to the development of education.
Pros and Cons of Social Media Used for Adult Learning
As any other learning tool, social media sites present some valuable advantages for learning, but at the same time, they bring about several disadvantages for the user. Take a look at our list and decide for yourself just how much you are willing to include social media in your learning process.
Social media is extremely accessible and it permanently renews the content it supplies. As such, it is able to keep users well informed, as long as they know how to use the portal properly. New users should prioritize the pages they are most interested in and over time, they can weed out the ones that provide disappointing data.
The same principles should be applied for the users you connect with. You can stay in touch with people who have solid knowledge about the topics you are interested in and whose opinion you respect. You can be curious about their idea, but not necessarily agree with them.
However, talking to new people remains one of the core benefits of social media, so you should permanently expand your friends and connection list to get the most out of the entire experience.
Social media is extremely entertaining. However, the fact that it provides you with a mixed feed containing posts about the things you want to learn about, all the leisure activities you partake in and the latest news about your friends can prove to be quite distracting at times.
Just as you are staying connected and reading about the latest discoveries in science, you will be distracted with a clip from an upcoming movie you’ve been dying to see and with a cute picture of your best friend. This is a daily occurrence on social media, so remember to save the important posts so that you can read about them later.