Teaching with social media: Digital tools give students flexibility

Dr. Sean Nufer | February 10, 2022 in Higher Education

Female student sitting on window ledge reviewing content on mobile device

This blog series highlights educators who have embraced social media in their ongoing quest to meet students where they are, increase engagement, and improve results. Through these stories, you’ll discover how they got started, learn a few tips to make your foray into social media as seamless as possible, and hear some advice about incorporating these new technologies and platforms into your instruction or institution.

One of the great things about social media is the flexibility. That’s what students are looking for, especially nontraditional students.

Social media can morph and accommodate your lifestyle, timeline, and schedule. You can utilize it as extensively as you’d like or minimize your utilization. But it accommodates. And that’s what online students especially are looking for.

Incorporating social media into courses

Traditional brick and mortar classrooms with set timelines and activities are never going to go away, but there are many students who need the flexibility that virtual learning offers.

And social media can be worked into that in a way that is comfortable, because it’s something they’re familiar with and use. If you can utilize their understanding of the technology for course content, students really appreciate that capability.

Today we have more digital tools and more approaches to teaching that we can leverage — that’s one of the virtues of social media. Sometimes we just have to get out of that comfort zone of how we were taught, or how tenured faculty may teach.

We’ve seen success with those models, but you can have success in other ways, too. Don’t be afraid to take that leap and really explore something unfamiliar.