Social Media has made inroads in every possible sector. Higher education too has not been left untouched. Several universities have adopted the social networking platforms as a communication tool. Although late in jumping on to the social media bandwagon, schools and universities have arrived. And how!
According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 100% of the universities surveyed use some form of social media site like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Facebook is the most used social network in higher education. The survey also found that most schools use Twitter for sending out announcements or class details while Facebook is used for the Pages to instill school spirit among students.
Apart from the conventional sites, blogs are an important tool among professors to disseminate knowledge as well as share information. Schools have been using online media for promotion as well. Virtual tours, distribution of free school swag and materials online, promotion of school activities – they do it all on social networks. Moreover, many schools are reaching out to the potential students using Twitter or Facebook leads.
However, the bright lamp has a dark shadow too. Most schools are simply handing out information about themselves on social sites rather than engaging the student. If schools do not start “listening” the whole exercise of having a social media profile goes in vain. Social Media monitoring can provide the institutions with real time feedback from students which will be more valuable than any study conducted by a private group.
Despite the shortcomings, one must acknowledge the growing social media awareness in schools. In days to come, the figures of social media usage are bound to soar. That will indeed make education a holistic and enjoyable experience for students and professors alike.
What do you say?