Welcome back to my blog.
Have you ever wondered how much has digital media changed our lives than just giving us facilities like What’s app, Facebook and Instagram?
Digital media has definitely given us a broader platform to socialise from one part of the world to other, has helped us enhance our networking skills virtually and also has become a source of information with just a click.
Even though social media has seeped into many aspects of our life, who would have ever thought Web 2.0 will also become a platform for education which we will be unable to avoid?
Digital media is now used by institutions for educational purposes. Social media enables the users to reach mass audience with just one click at a time which makes it easier to disseminate information. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are so pocket friendly that the institutions do not even have to have a second thought about using social media to reach their students (Carpenter et al., 2016).
I still cannot get over the fact that this is my second digital media unit, I have been using Twitter since the last 6 months now and I must tell you I didn’t realise I was actually completing my units all this while, while using the platform.
This tweet is where it all began, and I feel so grateful to have experienced the concept of education on Twitter.
Everyone has benefitted from the new concept of digital media learning, also called eLearning that include teachers and students, benefitting the most. Educational information can be disseminated from anywhere across the world by conducting lectures or classes through applications like Skype, FaceTime and other personalised online classrooms by institutions exclusively for their students.
The online learning space has opened up large opportunities for institutions like creating an entire degree course online or on cloud campus. Distance learning and online courses are growing rapidly, and the traditional method of learning are trying to incorporate this new way of learning (Baldridge et al., 2013). I can relate this to my own university. Deakin University has a blend of both traditional education as well as digitalised way of learning. The website/ application through which Deakin University functions is called ‘DeakinSync’ and every student has their personalised account created on the site. You can see more about how Deakin functions and ‘DeakinSync’ in the video below:
Not only institutions but also scholars have now generated interest into researching more about the concept and creating variety of scholarly articles and thesis on this topic. Now you can find scholarly articles published over internet and it has become so much easier to search them by using keywords instead of struggling all around the library for just a journal.
Another aspect inculcated to eLearning is also ‘Gamification’ by adding online quizzes and games while studying in the online space. The teachers are now trying to incorporate this factor in order to make class less boring, interesting and make the sessions more productive and overcoming the problems of less attention span of students. Since this creates a two-way communication between the students and the professors, the concept compels the student into active participation than just day dreaming or not being mentally present in class.
Virtual learning also sharpens a student’s communication skills by interacting over social media. Having basic communication skills are very important globally in all career fields where online learning lets the student experience the blend of both digital learning as well as learning their selected course materials irrespective of their geographical location.
However, on the other hand, there are also limitations and negative impacts of digital media over education. The students most of the times get distracted towards social media while studying. Studying or learning process must be done in isolation and with concentration. But due to evolving study techniques, digital learning has taken over and is mandatorily accessed through electronic devices like Laptops, mobile phones and iPads. Social media is also accessed through these device and today due to social media the students find themselves spending most of their time chatting.
This has become a trend even while studying, especially inside the classroom. The social media platform looks more interesting and attracts the students away from the studies. A lot of ethical and privacy concerns also arise when it comes to social media. University students are young and do not have enough knowledge on how to deal with consent issues. While an online class is being held that claims to be private and closed group lecture, it needs to be understood a social media platform is never private and always records everything. Nothing can be taken off or deleted permanently from the platform. This intimates the privacy of the student. Even while collaborating over social media with peers, it is important that the students know that it unethical to create and share abusive content, negative content and anything that defames someone.
Moreover, digital media and education has collaborated really well and pushed the boundaries of learning by overcoming problems like lack of attention of students, some students who are unable to travel to university due to work commitments and things like not wasting time in creating written notes when you can directly print it digitally and read or study it.
That’s all for this one, I will catch you all with the next blog post soon! Have a good day! 🙂