THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
It is readily acknowledged that students are active users of social media. However, research has also shown the majority of students use social media for personal reasons, rather than for academic needs. In many academic circles, more discussion centres on the concern of faculty "friending" potential students or students attempting to "friend" faculty members. These issues seem to focus more on the policies of the potential impropriety of social media communication, rather than concentrating on how social media tools can be used to enrich and engage students and faculty in the teaching and learning process. One method to create more awareness of the potential of social media tools is to demonstrate that social media can: motivate the base, affect author attribution, disseminate information quickly, distribute fact and fiction, and how it can reinforce or change opinions their use in communicating "real world examples" in classroom lectures. Students could see how stories can be quickly spread or expanded through social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Although they understand that social media can transmit information quickly, students had no idea just how fast these tools could distribute messages, either as fact or fiction. Students can learn that the media can present the news in a biased manner. They also thought more deeply about the importance of watching viewpoints from both sides of an issue. Whether the story has a political story line, or is more of a human interest story, the key to engagement is to personalize the experience so that the audience can more readily connect. The use of social media has surged globally in recent years. Based on individual companies’ statistics in July 2011, Facebook passed 750 million users (2011); Twitter hit over 177 million tweets per day (2011); YouTube reached three billion views every day (2011). Social media are infiltrating the educational arena. The...
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