The popularity of social networking sites is increasing rapidly. They provide various services and benefits to its users such as helping them connect with new people, stay in touch with old friends and colleagues, and share opinions with people who share the same interests. Not only can social networking sites be used for personal reasons, it can be used as a tool to enhance adult education. It is rich in resources with various videos, websites, and images a teacher can share. Most importantly, it can encourage interaction and collaboration between students and the teacher.
For art and graphic design instructors, there’s a huge benefit of using various social media platforms in the classroom. The teacher can encourage his or her students to build their social presence as a designer, develop a voice, and build a positive reputation for their brand through social media. Students can also get real-time information on important news and trends in the graphic design industry. Instagram and Scoop.it are just two networking technologies I feel has the potential to do just that.
Instagram is a photo sharing application that is free, and it allows users take a photo and edit their image by applying photo filters before sharing (Waters, 2012). You can use this app with both smartphones and tablets. You can even start an account for your class.
As a graphic design and art instructor, I can use this app to showcase students’ artwork and designs. I can even use it to record and document steps in various projects. I can take a photo or even have students take a photo of each step and add a caption with instructions for that step. I can then upload the photos to the class page and categorize it by using hashtags created just for this particular project. Or students can upload the images to their account and use the hastags as well. An added benefit is that I can, or even my students can, pin their images to the class Pinterest board.
Check it out: Instagram
Another social networking technology that has the potential to enhance adult education is Scoop.it. So what is Scoop.it? It’s part content curation and part social networking. It allows you to create boards of curated content based on any topic you choose. You can also share your thoughts on that topic and connect with others who share similar interests (Firth, 2014).
To use Scoop.it, you must first select a topic. Let’s say students are learning about 3D Printing. Your topic, in this case 3D printing, becomes boards of curated content. You then create a name for your topic and add related keywords. The keywords you add will allow Scoop.it to curate content for you. You can add content to your boards by ‘re-scooping’ content from others, or you can scoop articles you read on the web by entering the URL. I can use Scoop.it in the classroom for researching purposes, or just to track current events in the graphic design and art field.
Visit Scoop.it to check it out.
Waters, S. (2012). The educator’s guide to instagram and other photo apps [Web Site]. Retrieved from http://www.theedublogger.com
Firth, S. (2014). What the heck is scoop.it? [Web Site]. Retrieve from http://cursivecontent.com/what-the-heck-is-scoop-it/