“I really need to have my own Facebook account because my teacher said our assignments would be given there!”
I OVERHEARD this lamentation in a restaurant by a child of maybe no more than 10 years old. I don’t know if those words were just an excuse to get the mom’s permission to enter Facebook.
But I know for a fact that some teachers do give assignments through social media and some students employ group chats in discussing their activities for performance tasks.
My kids have no Facebook or social media account of their own because they just don’t want to (yet!). So far, their school performance does not seem to be affected by that. But I wonder if someday they would also feel pressured just because they need to keep up with school work.
In a way, social media defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos),” can be an efficient method of getting messages across.
Everyone seems to be more active on social media than in any form of communication these days. Send a text or try to call and you get no answer. Send a message through Facebook messenger or Viber, or make an announcement through Twitter and in less than a minute, you get a response.
Social media can be versatile and has an enormous capacity to share information. Now with some free versions, it’s become even more accessible.
However, like the force in Star Wars movies, social media’s effect and use change according to its user. It’s a double-edged sword and a two-faced coin.
Common, you know what I’m talking about. We deem ourselves responsible adults but at times we also fall into the distracting, addictive, and destructive traps of social media. Without lessons learned and setting of healthy boundaries, the glitter and glamour of social media can quickly turn into the nightmares of trolling, cyber-bullying, fake news, and getting into other people’s business when we have no business getting into.
Are we then prepared to open these all up for our children for the sake of getting their assignments? Wouldn’t it be ironic asking them to focus on their studies while giving them multiple distractions? Would the benefit overtake the cost? Or would the benefit be so little and so temporary compared to the enormous, long-term, and unpredictable effects when we push a young, unprepared, and highly impressionable psyche, to enter the world of social media?
Maybe instead of social media, a possible alternative can be LMS.
LMS or Learning Management System is a type of software specifically designed to manage internet education or training courses. This is where school assignments should be given, and not on Facebook. This is a proper academic avenue if you want to be all tech-savvy about it while circumventing all the dangers of social media.
According to elearning.com, LMS has the following five major benefits:
Benefit #1: Centralized learning
The first benefit to using a learning management system is it offers a centralized source of learning. This means that the training, performance, and development content are offered at all times from the same source. Multiple users can access the information at any given time.
These systems ensure consistency in the evaluation and delivery of the material, meaning every user sees the same content through the same manner. These systems let the user design customized training modules that can be used to introduce new equipment, update equipment, or modify operating procedures.
Benefit #2: Tracking and reporting features
The second benefit to using a learning management system is that you can enhance performance through tracking and reporting tools. Progress of new users can be tracked, records can be reviewed, and users can register for more than one course. Employers are able to offer the courses through web-based training, webinars, and other forms of instructor-led training. Management can then access the records of those who participated to analyze which areas need improvement. The learner can now put in additional efforts in the areas that are difficult for them, because learning management systems give users the ability to manipulate their learning pace.
Benefit #3: Evaluation capabilities
The third benefit to using a learning management system is that it allows users to be evaluated before they take the course, while they are in the course, and when they finish the course. This means that employers can evaluate their retention levels through periodically scheduling assignments. They can then review the records to determine the levels of success. In educational settings, students can review their personal performance based on quizzes and tests that are administered by the professors.
Benefit #4: Easy upgrades
The fourth benefit to using a learning management system is that the content and information in the course can be easily upgraded. Because the learning management system offers a centralized location for information, it is simple to make a change to the forms, requirements, product descriptions, or specifications. Users will get the same upgraded information at the same time.
Benefit #5: Simplified learning process
The fifth and final benefit to using a learning management system is that it simplifies the learning process. The systems are easy to use and new users can figure everything out easily. The systems accommodate multiple features including recording and tracking, documentation and administration, as well as classroom learning. These systems are affordable alternatives that offer scalable and personalized platforms for learning. They deliver integrated and enriched learning experiences for the users that expound upon virtual learning and collaboration modules.
Just like any human right, entering social media is a basic choice – a choice when taken with readiness and guidance elevates to excellence and productivity. Education can still pursue innovation in the light of carefully studying as many tools as it can and choosing only the best vehicles for learning. Not everything that is popular, available, or easily accessed is always what’s best.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on January 17, 2018.
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