1. ICT and its role in the current educational process
The present educational process is typical by a very large support of ICT. E-learning has become an integral part of contemporary education in a number of educational institutions worldwide. Since the pioneering beginning the development of applications which allows social interaction and communication increased the opportunity to share knowledge, exchange experiences, forming collaborations etc. On the other hand it seems to be still a big gap between the efficient utilization of these applications and the possibilities of these applications or the social media.
One of the main barrier of their adequate utilization is the lack knowledge about the spectrum of the applications or social media which could be a good helper in the educational process. The teachers must very often look for them themselves without enough knowledge about and sometimes without any skills to work with.
Teachers and students therefore remains unknown number of useful and interesting contents that may be used by a social media or other applications during the learning or teaching process. It seems to be quaint, but it is not uncommon to see a teacher during the lecture only near the blackboard with a chalk in his hand or at best, standing in a front of the screen with the boring power-point presentation.
Of course, the problem could be not only in the lack information about the applications but also in the lack knowledge about the modern and efficient teaching methods or in the interest to include the approaches to the current teaching scheme and in a lot of other reasons.
2. The face of the modern educational process
Modern educational process should be characterized by an increasing amount of self-study to transform the traditional lecturing resp. teaching to the learning. (1) The aim is to make a balance between the role of student and the role of teacher to be more equal partners instead of an authority on the one hand and the ignorant disciple on the other hand. The other important aim is to increase the space for knowledge development and knowledge acquisition. (2) The appropriate use of the social media could influence the strengthening student activities and their preparation for fruitful co-operation and collaboration. In many cases the students are able to orientate in the offer and use of social media better than the teachers.
But a teacher first should be able to demonstrate how to use the media effectively, to give them appropriate examples to motivate the students to look for different ways of data collection, knowledge sharing and experience exchanging.
3. Five important “literacies” of social media
Rheingold informs that the people must be trained to be literate in social media that they are not inherently born knowing how to use them effectively. (3) He found out the five important interconnected “literacies” of social media. (4)
The ability to know where and when to place one´s attention when navigating various types of social media and when navigating between social media and real world moments.
The identification of “a good participant” due to effective usage of appropriate and helpful social media
The key aspect of the effective training and educational process at all
The understanding of network operating and its functioning
The ability to determine a relevant, reliable and usable information in “the ocean” of online data (4)
The paper focuses on the current situation and identification of the barriers and limitations as well as the added value of the social media use and the use of other applications which allow social interaction and communication. The comparison of the current situation with the identified interconnected literacies can better show the points which are still important to improve and develop. As Rheingold said “technology has given us freedom and power” (5) but similarly as in the other cases the educators must be careful to manage the usage of social media effectively and to operate through them expertly and responsibly.
References and Notes
- Barr R. B. , Tagg J.: From Teaching to Learning, A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education in http://www.athens.edu/visitors/QEP/Barr_and_Tagg_article.pdf online 4. 5. 2015
- Wilson S. M. and Berne J.: Teacher Learning and the Acquisition of Professional Knowledge: An Examination of Researchon Contemporary Professional Development, Review of Research in Education, Vol. 24 (1999), pp. 173-209, in American Educational Research Association, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1167270, Accessed: 20/12/2012 12:58
- Crook J.: Howard Rheingold’s Five Media Literacies, ETEC 5310, 2012 in http://www.jaycrook.com/jay/masters/Howard%20Rheingold.pdf , online 4. 5. 2015
- Blankenship M.: How Social Media Can and Should Impact Higher Education, Distance Learning Technology, Hispanic Outlook, 29.11. 2010 in http://www.jaycrook.com/jay/masters/Howard%20Rheingold.pdf https://www.wdhstore.com/hispanic/data/pdf/nov29-howsocial.pdf, online 4.5. 2015
- Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and Other 21st-Century Social Media Literacies. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(5), 14-16.
- Rheingold, H. (2008). Using Social Media to Teach Social Media. New England Journal Of Higher Education, 23(1), 25-26.