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The Impact of Social Media in Higher Education

by Kimberly Thomas

In this day and age, four year old children are now using Ipads, Iphones, tablets etc to play games, watch movies, and learn programs. This generation is now programmed to check Youtube, Google, Twitter and Facebook and eventually the children of the future will adapt to our same habits.

In higher education this concept isn’t new, teachers will always gravitate to technology because it helps them better explain the content of the coursework. Regardless if it was a large lecture class which had 3 projection screens for hundreds of students or a small class that gives every student their own personal computer station to actively follow what was being taught, it is now standard practice to email a teacher,  check the internet for final grades and to also submit assignments.  I cannot remember the last time I went to the library to do research via printed materials because the internet was always accessible to me.


In high school most students used Sparknotes to help as a study guide and write papers. Even then there was controversy because teachers were concerned that student would not bother to read the book because of the site’s ability to gave a detailed summation of each chapter and characters. This site though helpful took the thought provoking nature teachers were trying to instill in students and gave some students an easy way to plagiarize and use someone else’s thoughts as their own. But as social media grew so did the need for plagiarism checkers on the internet which teachers to this day still take advantage of. However the relationship of teachers and students have become so much better with social media through accessibility, open communication, and social feedback. is a site that allows users to locate a college of interest, find a teacher based on name or department then view ratings from a one to five grading scale, overall quality, easiness of course and even if the professor is good looking. It is used by so many students throughout the United States that its notoriety is trusted by many. The uses of Podcasts have rapidly grown for online learning as well as in class learning. Not everyone has the same learning style and capability. Some people need to be physically in a classroom with the book highlighting important segments discussed by the teacher while others take online classes because they are more comfortable with studying the material on their own and in their own time.

Podcasts are believed to stimulate focus in the mind and connects students with the material. As time goes on society will be well versed in the ease of using their mobile phone to write a paper, the uncomfortable feeling of missing a class will no longer be because you can simple log in to your school’s website remotely and watch the lesson you missed. The social media effects on higher education are ever-changing and very necessary for the minds of the future.




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