So­cial me­dia for study­ing


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - YOU AT WORK -

What­sApp can be used to col­lab­o­rate.

With the SA Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate Ex­ams set to kick off in two weeks’ time, matrics should now start putting the fi­nal touches on their prepa­ra­tion for prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant ex­ams in their lives. And in this pe­riod of re­vi­sion, th­ese pupils have a sur­pris­ing ally: so­cial me­dia.

If used cor­rectly, it can give them just the right boost to make them per­form at their best, an ex­pert says.

Wonga Nt­shinga, se­nior head of pro­grammes at The In­de­pen­dent In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion says so­cial me­dia is no longer just good for fun and games, and has stepped up to be­come a re­source to be reck­oned with for pupils se­ri­ous about their stud­ies.

“We have no­ticed how par­tic­u­larly four plat­forms – What­sApp, YouTube, Face­book and Twit­ter – are be­ing har­nessed for re­vi­sion,” says Nt­shinga.

He says the var­i­ous plat­forms are be­ing used in dif­fer­ent ways, each ac­cord­ing to its strengths.

“What­sApp is be­ing used as a cross-plat­form mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion for study groups,” he says. “For in­stance, a group will be called G12_ Science_Class_ SchoolName. Mem­bers of that group then dis­cuss is­sues con­cern­ing the study ma­te­ri­als, ques­tions, pa­pers and even ad­min is­sues around par­tic­u­lar ex­ams.

Be­cause What­sApp is avail­able for iPhone, Black­Berry, An­droid, Win­dows Phone and Nokia, many pupils are able to col­lab­o­rate on this plat­form re­gard­less of de­vice.

“What­sApp also al­lows users to send each other un­lim­ited images, video and au­dio mes­sages. So, you can cre­ate a video of how you solved a par­tic­u­lar math­e­mat­ics equa­tion or phys­i­cal sci­ence ex­per­i­ment and share it with your group.

“Al­ter­na­tively, you can record a tu­to­rial and pass it on to your peers.”

Nt­shinga says an­other pop­u­lar op­tion is YouTube, the video-shar­ing er ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions should have ICT in­fras­truc­ture to sup­port the school op­er­a­tionally and aca­dem­i­cally.

“ICT so­lu­tions can pro­mote pupil-teacher per­for­mance, im­prove pupil-teacher in­ter­ac­tion and pro­vide blended learn­ing chan­nels,” he says.

Nt­shinga en­cour­ages par­ents and teach­ers to as­sist pupils in ac­cess­ing ICT tools at home and at school, es­pe­cially dur­ing this time of pre­par­ing for pre­lims and fi­nal ex­ams.

“Many pupils love tech­nol­ogy and use it to the fullest,” Nt­shinga says.

“With tech­nol­ogy costs hav­ing re­duced dras­ti­cally over the years, par­ents and teach­ers should con­sider mak­ing use of th­ese tools, as they can im­prove grades, par­tic­i­pa­tion, knowl­edge and con­fi­dence.

“Most im­por­tantly, they can help make learn­ing just a lit­tle bit more fun,” Nt­shinga says.

Pic­ture: Thinkstock

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