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Can Students Get Better Grades Using Social Media?

If you’ve blinked in the past couple of years, you’ve probably missed what could possibly be remembered as the birth of social media. The internet experience as we know it has certainly changed. Some may argue for the better, others, not so much. However, what everyone can agree on is the impact social media is having on pretty much everyone with internet access.

Particularly for college students, social media has become a major part of everyday life. In fact, so many students use social media to connect with friends, share pictures or videos that it’s beginning to take the place of traditional hang out sessions. It seems like everyone meets online these days instead of at the mall, the movies or even study groups. As this new phenomenon becomes a reality, is it possible to improve grades using social media? Some people think so.

Social Media Dominates Internet Use

Mastersineducation.org recently posted an interesting infographic that took a look at the question of whether grades can be improved using social media. Whether you agree with the idea that social media can be used to improve grades in school or not, there’s no denying it has complete dominance over the internet. Facebook is the second most popular site in the world after Google, the search engine. Interestingly, according to statistics offered by Alexa.com, a large portion of those who visit Facebook are browsing from school. Other social media sites are not far behind. In fact, YouTube, a video sharing site with social media features, holds the fourth spot, slightly behind Facebook for most visited site in the world. The bottom line is that while the internet offers a plethora of information to users worldwide, activity on social media sites is consistently occupying the majority of user time spent online.

Studies Confirm Link between Social Media and Improved Grades

There have been numerous studies that look at correlations between grades and social media. In one study, students reported that through social media, they were able to independently create and participate in study groups with other social media members, improving grades. It makes sense, given the amount of time students spend visiting these sites. There’s even evidence to support implementing social media sites in the schools themselves to “encourage discussion on the material both inside and outside of the classroom”. After all, 96% of students surveyed use Facebook on a regular basis. Social media is certainly a valuable resource for at the very least, reaching students.

One of the most valid arguments supporting the idea that heavy social media use improves grades is the notion that by using social media, students are learning to relate their schoolwork to their own personal experiences. Described as a form of “active learning”, the idea is that students can relate what they enjoy doing or talking about with their class work, increasing interest and ultimately, improving grades.

While it may not be a proven fact that social media use improves grades, there is certainly enough evidence to support the statement that most students use it frequently and will most likely continue to do so for quite some time. How social media will impact the future and the classroom, we don’t know for sure.

Also read Plagiarism in the Digital Age [Infographic by Schools.com] on the Turnitin Community site.

Citations

“Infographic: How to Get Better Grades Using Social Media.”  June 24th, 2011. http://mastersineducation.org/infographic-how-to-get-better-grades-through-social-media/

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Published on by davidr.