GEDIS17

Utilizing Social Media to Enhance One’s Educational Experiences

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In the first week of the Contemporary Pedagogy course that I am taking right now, we discussed the interesting topic of using the current available technologies to enhance the learning experiences for students. I find this topic very interesting because in the world that we live in, the technical advancement is growing so rapidly that any tools that we implement today will be obsolete when the next cohort enters.

This rapid growth of the human knowledge is made possible by how easily knowledge can be access by everyone. We collectively build upon each other’s discoveries to continually push the boundaries of understanding. However, because there is so much information available to us, we must be careful to not let our thoughts be easily persuaded. The world that we live in is built upon power, influence, and money. Those with resource or a dire passion have capability to influence the decisions that we make as society. Therefore, it is crucial that we must all learn to think critically to be able to distinguish the facts from opinions and the ability to detect “inaccuracies” in the methods that are used to generate facts.

On the flipped side, those with a passion can use the vast modern network to market their passions to potential audiences. The article, “Twitter and blogs are not just add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion underpinning it” mentioned that blogging or social media is a way that these researchers can engage the audiences. I personally myself am not very well versed in social media. However, I can see the validity of using these mediums to communicate with people about the cutting edge work that are currently being done. In a way these high level communications, are used to build momentum and interest in a particular area.

I am an engineering student, and one of the hardest thing that I find about the curriculum is that a good portion of the classes are so theory heavy that most students are not capable of seeing the beauty of the applications behind that topic. I was fortunate enough to be able to utilized some of the high level theories that I have learned in the various titles that I have held in the industry. To me being able to relate the analytical thought process to solve hands on problems in the physical world gave me a deeper appreciation through understanding the engineering theory. I believe that theory and application goes hand in hand because one cannot be truly innovative without have an understanding of both.

From my experience, I have found that the majority of the students goes through an engineering program to obtain an industry job. From those students, I have found that those that had “real” industry experience has a greater appreciation for their engineering classes. From this, I try to incorporate modern technologies into my class room to expose my students to the realities of an engineering job. I find that high level technical videos on social media inspires the students to learn and ask questions.

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2 thoughts on “Utilizing Social Media to Enhance One’s Educational Experiences

  1. I can understand your struggle with incorporating social media in theory heavy classes; however, the use of YouTube videos got me through my statics, dynamics, and mechanics of materials courses in undergrad! Videos like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cbF9A6eQNA really helped a lot, especially when I couldn’t make it to office hours or just was not understanding key concepts in my classes.

    Mary’s blog post for this week also speaks to the importance of thinking critically and having the ability to distinguish facts from untruths, you should check it out! https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/mnorris/2017/01/21/testing/

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  2. I absolutely agree with your point that “It is crucial that we must all learn to think critically to be able to distinguish the facts from opinions and the ability to detect “inaccuracies” in the methods that are used to generate facts.” Given the easy access to a vast amount of information online, we must be able to distinguish the useful, logical, and meaningful information from the false, fragmented, and misleading information. This needs our ability to think critically and make critical judgement. Open access for various kinds of opinions may cause us to be more skeptical and vulnerable. Thus, we need to make ourselves strong enough to protect our own beliefs, interests, and achievements.

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