Social media appears to be a massive waste of time to many of the older generation. However, savvy students can leverage the tools in the social media arsenal to get better grades. There are many different forms of social media, including networking sites, forums, podcasts, video sharing web pages, blogs, and other web tools and sites that promote interaction over the internet. Examples of these would be online magazines, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, etc. If these types of sites can do more than just waste time, what are some tips to using social media to get better grades?
1. Network: Networking with other students via social networking sites (like Facebook) and forums gives you resources to consult when you get stuck on an assignment. It also provides a place for students to discuss and expound on ideas from the class materials. This sparks ideas which can be used in papers and research projects.
2. Research: Use social networking sites or popular blogs to take polls for current research. You can draw conclusions or find the reasons why the polls do not show an accurate representation of the actual data as part of an assignment.
3. Read: Many experts, professors, and companies have blogs. Reading what the experts say about a subject can help you make connections that improve your retention or understanding of a subject, promoting higher grade performance on a test.
4. Synergize: Create forums, social networking groups, or micro-blog feeds that pertain to specific research topics when preparing projects or papers. You can bounce ideas off others who are interested in the same research, question unclear items, or spark a new direction for a stellar research paper.
5. Micro-Blogging: Use social media like Twitter to ask questions and receive immediate answers. Tweeting a question can garner answers from all over the globe. You can use the answers to help you know what direction to look in for the scholarly research that backs it up.
6. Collaborate: Web tools that focus on project management often allow for multiple people to interact, save information, and exchange ideas regarding a specific project. When you have a team project due, use social media technology to its fullest to connect all your team members and keep everyone in the loop on the project’s progress.
7. Subscribe: Online magazines and newsletters can provide information on the cutting edge developments in your field. Subscribing to them keeps you in the know and impressing your professor’s with your up-to-date knowledge.
8. Follow: In the same vein, following your professor or other experts in your chosen area of study on Twitter, Facebook, etc. can assist you in creating connections which may be helpful in school and your career.
9. Study Group: Create online study groups using Skype, Facebook chat, forums, and other social media tools. You can set a time and get together with other students from your class to go over material before tests.
10. Brown-Nose: It can never hurt to read your professor’s blog and comment regularly with intelligent, informed tidbits. Creating a bond between student and professor can encourage the teacher to give the student the benefit of the doubt is necessary.
In addition to these tips, using media in your presentations from video or photo sharing sites to illustrate your points is a good idea to secure points for a well-thought out project. A number of web 2.0 tools exist to help people (even students in particular) connect and succeed. Learning more about the technology available to you will help you use it to better your learning experience and your grades too!