When I began university in 2008, the use of digital media was already integrated into higher education. Every university class had a unit website, with recorded lectures, e-readings, online unit forums, and online drop-boxes for handing in assessment. In fact I have only ever had one class in my eight years of university that had absolutely no digital components, and that was a criminal law class taught by a Buddhist monk… so it was already an unusual class.
Despite the use of online resources and digital media throughout my university career, this year was the first time I was exposed to the use of social media as an educational tool. When I enrolled in Blogging and Online Communication at Deakin University, I was surprised to find out that not only did I have to create a twitter account, I would be unable to complete most of my assessment without one. It was my first experience with the use of social media as an educational tool.
Obviously the title of the unit is a bit of a give-away as to why the use of Twitter, blogging, sound-cloud, and you-tube are essential to the course. What I have found though, with my increasing interaction with social media platforms as an educational tool, is that there is a lot of potential uses for social media as a tool for active learning in higher education institutions. Twitter in particular, has been found to be very useful in creating an active, student-led, learning environment.
To hear more, listen to my podcast where I discuss the benefits and limitations of Twitter as an educational tool to promote active and personalised learning environments.