The topic my learning partner (Marlena Nessel) and myself chose for this assignment was “Social Media Inside a Traditional Classroom”. In this reflection I am going to outline some of the emerging trends that social media is playing inside the classroom and how both instructors and students are adapting to “the new normal traditional classroom”(Haddock, 2015). In my readings I came across and article written by Chris Riedel. It is titled 10 Major Technology Trends in Education. This article backed by published statistics, points out the accelerating high percentages of increased use of social media use both inside and outside the classroom. One does not really need hard facts to realize that there is no stopping the electronic era. With so many different devices easily available, that are capable of providing a wide variety of learning tools for staff and students, it’s no wonder the popularity of social media is increasing. Social media allows high volumes of learning material to be distributed to students in a variety of ways like, video learning, web conferencing, online tutorials. This forms a large network as students can communicate and share information among themselves and with the instructor.
One point that Chris eludes to in his article that really jumped out at me was that the trend of social media usage is going to continue to increase at a high rate due to the fact that educators are not in control of it. Students are custom building models and methods of learning that best suit them. They will use several types of devices to do certain tasks to either access information or to reach out to other learners for help. Even if the student finds themselves in a classroom were the instructor has not adapted to new technology and sticks to lecture and written assessments, the students will self-direct themselves to online outlets for information and support. Most Instructors are utilizing social media inside the classroom to make the learning environment more suitable to accommodate a wider range of learning styles. To be an effective instructor in this ever-changing teaching world one must be prepared to seek ongoing training in the various electronic disciplines. Most institutions provide resources for both students and faculty to enhance their skills to make them more adept to using electronic learning aids. As time goes forward the face of the traditional classroom will shift to keep up with the new emerging technologies. As an instructor myself, it will be my responsibility to keep my skills updated and to be open minded to be able to do a better job of educating my learners.