Social Media And Information Dissemination Among Students
Social media platform refers to the utilisation of internet and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive discourse. Social media platforms are groups of internet applications that build on the technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Social media platforms form social interaction as a superset of social communication. However, Social media platforms are a tool for communication that allows democratisation of knowledge which transforms users from content consumers to content producers.
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Social media improve the interaction between users and in the process facilitating seamless communication and feedback. In addition, social media platforms offer instant messages which are preferred in the contemporary world by students. Importantly, social media platforms could be used for communicating with students because they offer reduced communication costs since most of these students are financially constrained.
New technology in communication has helped to serve as a means of connecting people and as a medium of interaction in the social world and educational sector. Higher institutions have been exploring the opportunities that technologies have brought to the world. Technology has substituted the manner people interact and has brought about the advent of an open social platform in the form of social media. This allows people to connect, thereby making the world a global village. The advancement of social media platforms has influence notably on students both in their academic and social life as a means of making connections for various purposes.
Social media are web-based services that give individuals the opportunity to create a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, add a list of others to what they share, a connection and view and transverse their list of connections and those made by others with the system. Social media platforms have emerged as a very interesting and powerful tool among students. Social networking site have given an ample opportunity to get better service models to accommodate for needs of new online patrons.
Social media is an evolutionary development of online participation where people of common interest communicate, share and contribute content on the social cyberspace. It is a viable tool for cooperation and sharing of knowledge in an open access platform.
Social media is designed to allow multiple users to publish content of themselves. The information may be on any subject and may be for consumption by friends, mates, employers, employees just to mention a few. Social media sites are web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, to view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
Social media can also be said to be a community in which individuals are somehow connected through friendship, values, working relationships, idea and so on. social media can be seen in terms of knowledge networking as signifying a number of people, resources and relationships among them, who are assembled in order to accumulate and use knowledge primarily by means of knowledge creation and transfer processes, for the purpose of creating value.
THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media platforms act as a means which allow students, lecturers and researchers to generate and share ideas. Institutions are to encourage students, lecturers and researchers to leverage their networks if they have an articulate social profile. This will result in professionalism, as this social media will promote collaboration without leaders in their respective institutions. Also, this will help the institutions to stay up to date with the latest developments in the institutions. Social media has also improved collaboration between faculty, departments and units in the institutions, which has resulted in a better result. When these faculties departments and units are encouraged to work as a team allowing them to share their workload, the result will be tremendous compared to what an individual could have created.
Social media platform improve the usage of information and educational-related materials. However, many students and instructors are using social media platforms as a teaching and learning tool. Thus, social media platforms allow users to communicate with one another, teachers and communities that share knowledge in education and related activities. Taking note of this, many universities now maintain profiles and groups on social networking sites such as Facebook, where students and faculty can interact, share resources and express ideas.
Social media platforms have become popular and include a wide range of users. Social media platforms focus on establishing online social networks. Social media are communities of people who share interests, activities and provide directions for users to interact. In addition, academic institutions are making use of social media platforms to provide information on what is happening on campus in the form of information and news. Lecturers create chat rooms forum and groups to expand classroom discussion to post assignments and tests. It is a way for lecturers and students’ interaction and feedbacks.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
Social media is a very broad term that includes a wide variety of media vehicles. It is the “how” of how we socialize on the new Web 2.0. It is the vehicle we use to share information with our social network,and it includes all social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. These are among the most popular social media sites. Facebook (as of August 2011) has reached 750 million members and comes in as the number one social networking site. There are many other social media sites and they use a wide variety of formats. For example, Blogger and WordPress are two of the most popular general blogging sites. The possibilities are endless depending on the information being exchanged and the intended audience. Social media covers all the tools we use for social networking.
Historically, it was enough to have an online presence on the Internet for the one-way broadcasting and dissemination of information. Today, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are motivating new forms of social interaction, dialogue, exchange and collaboration. Social networking sites enable users to exchange ideas, to post updates and comments, or to participate in activities and events, while sharing their wider interests. From general chit-chat to propagating breaking news, from gentle humor to serious research, social networks are now used for a host of different reasons by various user communities Online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Plus Share, LinkedIn and the like) have become truly significant new phenomena in human communication and interaction patterns and may have a profound impact in the way people communicate and connect with each other.
In conclusion, Undergraduates used social media for different purposes such as searching and disseminating information for academic purpose, staying in touch with friends and family, chatting and sharing pictures and videos. The social media is an important tool that can be used to disseminate information to the undergraduates since it is frequently used by them, although with some challenges. The university administrators must provide the enabling environment for its maximum use among the undergraduates by improving electricity supply and subsidizing internet access fee. The university must tap into the potentials of these social media in disseminating information to their students which could include teaching and learning.