Social media for studying
LEARNING: ONLINE PLATFORMS AREN’T ALL BAD
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.