E-learning Emerging trends

Social networks have revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with the world around us. Beyond their use for entertainment and social connectivity, social networks have also begun to play a significant role in online learning. In this article, we explore the growing influence of social networks on e-learning, looking at both the negatives and the benefits they offer.

Learning via social networks:

Social networks provide an interactive platform where learners can exchange ideas, share resources and collaborate with others with similar interests. Online groups and communities specialising in specific topics allow learners to find mentors, experts, and peers to exchange knowledge and solve problems together.

Negative points :

a) Distraction: Social networks are often associated with constant distractions, such as notifications, endless news feeds, and off-topic discussions. These distractions can reduce learners’ concentration and hinder their e-learning productivity

b) Reliability of information: Social networks are also known to be a source of unverified and sometimes misleading information. Learners need to use discernment and critical thinking skills to assess the reliability of information shared on social networks.

The benefits :

a) Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Social networks provide a platform for learners to collaborate, share their knowledge, and benefit from the expertise of others. This encourages collaborative learning, broadening perspectives, and building professional networks.

b) Access to a global community: Social networks allow learners to interact with people from all over the world, transcending geographical boundaries. They can connect with experts, teachers, and professionals in their field of interest, broadening their learning and networking opportunities.

Social networks have a significant impact on online learning. Although they can be a source of distraction and unreliable information, they also offer considerable benefits, such as collaboration, knowledge sharing, and access to a global community. Learners need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and develop time management and critical thinking skills to optimise their learning experience via social networks. In short, by judiciously exploiting the opportunities offered by social networks, they can become a powerful tool for e-learning and knowledge enrichment.

J. Goffinet, web editor