Within each human being is an innate desire to learn and explore. The human psyche is naturally drawn towards new and exciting things. Social media has made is possible for people to explore these interests online. Starting with the introduction of sites such as YouTube, people have become more inclined to learn things online and self-educate rather than seeking assistance from some other means.
An Epidemic of Help
Social media has sparked an online epidemic of people helping other people. Blogs, forums, and podcasts have also become prevalent places to ask questions and further your knowledge on pretty much any subject. What does this mean for traditional ways of education? I wouldn’t say that traditional in-class courses are going to disappear any time soon, but I would certainly agree that there is going to be a significant shift towards online education. Programmers and developers are working hard to make online learning more intuitive, and easily accessible to the masses. In reality, people are becoming more self-sufficient as a result of internet education. Providing them with even more ways to learn online is exactly where education is headed.
A Serious Distraction From Academics?
As unfortunate as it may seem, social media has become a serious distraction from people’s academic studies. University students especially, have been showing a lack of concentration both in and out of class due to the easy accessibility of social media. This is not likely to change any time soon. There is comfort in knowing however, that by providing easily accessible online learning, this issue can be slightly addressed. If students are going to be distracted by social media, they might as well be learning valuable information while they’re at it.
Learnville and E-Learning
E-Learning platforms are starting to become a definite reality. People have come to the realization that social media has a much greater potential than simply allowing people to keep in touch with one another. In fact, this is only the beginning. The introduction of widely accessible and credible education in social media is on the verge of market introduction. To name one of the more promising sites, Learnville.com is currently being established. Essentially, the site provides a platform to allow users to sign up for free and share knowledge using live video stream. It’s difficult to say at this point, but the site should be capable of creating a virtual-classroom environment in real-time. It gives people an opportunity to share knowledge in a community-like setting where social media plays a key role. Keep your eyes pealed for Learnville’s introduction, and other similar platforms. This seems to be the direction that online education is headed.
The Benefits & Concerns
So what are the benefits of online learning? For those of you who are not enrolled in post-secondary education, a platform such as Learnville could provide a viable alternative to learning, and as a bonus, in the comfort of your own home. Online learning also allows people to remain anonymous, therefore making people feel more comfortable about asking questions that they would otherwise not ask. Furthermore, online learning platforms will likely provide users with much greater variety in the types of courses offered. With in-class learning, you are quite limited by both the availability of courses, and their physical proximity to your home. There are very few restrictions associated with e-learning. One of the major concerns, however, is the lack of personalized attention to students online. This is a concern that can at least partially be mitigated by real-time, and virtual classroom teaching.
Its safe to say that social media is rapidly causing online education to emerge. Hopefully, we will see some sort of e-learning platform in the near future. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but who has time to go to class anymore, let alone trying to sort through YouTube videos? Be sure to weigh in on this issue by mentioning @LearnVille on Twitter!
This article was written by Gabriel Brutto, a HBA Candidate at the University of Western Ontario. You can contact Gabriel on Twitter @LearnVille. Have an idea for an article and looking for a forum? Want to write for Edudemic? Click here to get in touch!