Students Perspective on how technology and social media are used across campus | COEHS | SIU

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Journeys May 2015

Students Perspective on how technology and social media are used across campus

With each new year comes new technological advances and innovative ways of learning and communicating in relation to the world around us. The use of social media and the inclusion of technology in the learning environment are becoming more prevalent in the field of higher education. We are seeing social media and today’s technologies driving research ideas/projects, classroom curriculums, scholarship opportunities, and campus/cross campus relations. We remain enthusiastic about the boundless opportunities that growing technology allows. 

Not only are technology and social media being integrated into the world of academia on a national level, but we are seeing these advances at SIU Carbondale as well! Students, instructors, and staff are utilizing online learning, electronic databases, and the Internet to enhance the learning experience. Additionally, there has been an emergence of social media usage throughout SIU colleges, registered student organizations (RSO), and student services with the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. 

Students surveyIn order to get a better idea of how technology and social media were being used across the SIU campus, students were surveyed on their usage. Students of School of Social Work, Health Education and Recreation, Early Childhood Education, Rehabilitation Services, and Workforce Education answered a short survey inquiring about technology and social media in relation to the learning experience.  Students reported that professors utilized technology in the classroom with the use of D2L for assignment submissions, webinars, classroom documents, and additional readings. Professors are also using YouTube to show related videos, PowerPoint to display lectures, and overhead projectors for notes.  

Students reported that they use technology for their own academic agendas through use of the Morris Library online databases for academic research, DropBox, Prezi, and personal laptops and tablets. Additionally, students used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to build professional networks, follow Registered Student Organizations (RSO) and SIU colleges’ pages, and to research organizations and people before an interview.  

Growing use of technology and social media in the world of academia offers the potential to raise the quality of class instruction and discussion, and can involve students more deeply in their own education. Technology can make difficult courses easier to grasp, increase creative learning initiates, and create a community-feel to the education system. As educators, professionals, and active learners at SIU, it is important to recognize the positives and negatives to the growing digital age, and learn how our community is harnessing these advances.