It is not just for socialising alone!

According to usage statistics 66 per cent of all adults aged 16+ have a profile on at least one social networking site  


While antagonists argue that social media is an unhealthy addiction among students, its protagonists including academics say it is a powerful tool in education.
Many educators have stressed the potential importance of social media in education and in raising awareness among students.
“Social media are not merely tools aimed at delivering news and information, but rather could be used in teaching and learning skills”, says Dr Salman bin Amer al Hajri of College of Education.
In a recent study, Dr Slaman suggests that modern education curricula should focus on developing the mental skills and abilities of students, such as imagination, motivation and creativity.
“This would stimulate students to learn and develop at all levels of education”, he said in the study, which was conducted with an objective to measure effectiveness of using some of the social media applications in certain courses in theoretical art education.
The findings, which were published in the Academic Bulletin by Sultan Qaboos University, also showed that students positively responded to the experiment and acquired new knowledge in different educational situations.
Such information remains in their electronic accounts for a long time, and therefore, they can use it for peer interaction.
“Such techniques also encourage cooperative learning, and there is a potential for application in the future in the Sultanate’s schools by teachers with relevant experience”, points out the study.
The experiment with social media also help establish some kind of communication and dialogue with the students through their groups, and provide an opportunity for them to produce and share educational material and make it available to everyone.
“Social media could be one of the resources for expanding understanding and cooperation outside the boundaries of the classroom”, adds Dr Salman.
According to usage statistics gathered earlier this year by Ofcom, 66 per cent of all adults aged 16+ have a profile on at least one social networking site.