The International Changemaker

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The International Changemaker

The International Changemaker

Social Media and Education: A Tool or a Distraction?

Role of technology in education. Courtesy of Fast Company

In a world where social media platforms thrive, their role in education is more relevant than ever.
I believe the question is not whether we should use social platforms in education, but how we can use them effectively and responsibly. If used thoughtfully, social platforms will not only benefit an average student but also create accessible educational tools worldwide. Social media has changed almost all aspects of our lives, including education. Media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, have become integral parts of our daily lives, serving as platforms for communication, information, and entertainment. According to Pew Research Center, 75% percent of teenagers from 12-17 report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily. Two-thirds of teens have their own mobile devices with internet capabilities. On average, teens are online almost nine hours a day, not including time for homework.

K.R. University

These numbers show that social media is very common among a large part of all students. While some argue that these platforms can be distracting, affect students’ attention spans, and promote misinformation, proponents argue that social media can make learning interactive, engaging, and accessible. Many educators have begun integrating social media into their teaching practices to engage students in a more contemporary and relatable way. YouTube videos for class discussions, Khan Academy for reviewing material, and TikTok for sharing relevant short, engaging videos are just some examples.
According to a study by Pearson Learning Solutions, 59% of students use social media to discuss educational topics and 50% use the sites to talk about school assignments. A report from the University of Chicago showed that social media often complemented educational activities, helping students acquire, share, and review knowledge.

As an international student myself, I’ve found that social platforms can be a powerful tool for learning. For instance, YouTube tutorials have been instrumental in helping me understand complex concepts in different subjects. I spent the majority of my time last year with Khan Academy and YouTube classes, studying for AP classes and exams. Being immersed in an international environment, with the help of Duolingo, I was able to explore different languages cost-free and anywhere.

While I believe it is undeniable that the responsible use of social media can help you in your learning journey, it’s crucial to verify the information for its credibility. Despite these challenges, I believe that with mindful usage, social media can significantly enhance our learning experiences and make education more accessible.

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About the Contributor
Daria Kalinichenko, Codeitor-In-Chief
Daria Kalinichenko is a 17-year-old senior and the Coeditor-In-Chief of The International Changemaker Newspaper. As a Ukrainian activist and founder of the non-profit organization “Sea Sheriff,” she promotes personal growth and aims to inspire others to make a positive impact on their community and the world. Being born and raised in Ukraine, she moved to California at the age of 16 to continue her education at EF Academy Pasadena. With experience in scientific writing in the fields of sociology, cognitive psychology, and AI, she brings a unique perspective and hands-on experience to assist and support other writers. 

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