Pros and Cons of using ICT and Social Media in an Educational Context

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Here are three benefits of using ICT and social media in an educational context:

  1. Social media makes it easy to exchange and share information, which is an advantage for educational communities. Indeed, all the public participates and can exchange and produce content, which can be very interesting. You just have to be connected with the people who publish information that interests us and exchange information with those people. It is even possible on Facebook, for example, to create groups that can talk about a particular topic where everyone in the group can post information related to the topic. This allows for an interesting exchange between users. Social media is a great opportunity in the field of education to talk about the big issues by starting debates, for example. You have to be careful, because some information can be false or bad, but when you use social media well, it can have great advantages.
  2. School-based ICT can really help students with disabilities or learning difficulties. Indeed, there are several software programs that can help their success since these students need methods to learn like others and ICT is a very good solution for them. ICT allows the integration of some students, which may not be possible without them.
  3. ICT is a good way for teachers to learn their students better. With ICT, teachers can make PowerPoints, for example, to make the subject more visual for students, to facilitate their understanding and to have more attention. In addition, some ICTs can be very interesting for student learning such as the TBI which can be an excellent teaching material for teachers since students can manipulate their notions

Here are three drawbacks of using ICT and social media in an educational context:

  1. Social media can lead to addiction and decrease concentration on the tasks students have to do. Some people may spend evenings on social media instead of doing what they really wanted to do or instead of doing homework. This means that students can reduce their concentration in their studies because they go on Facebook or Twitter by giving up their work longer than they originally planned. It also becomes addictive when you go to Facebook every five minutes for example only to see if you would not have a notification. Some people may misuse social media until their relationships, daily activities and even their studies are disrupted. In the event that a laptop is allowed in class, students have access to social media and the teacher sometimes has little control over their use in the classroom.
  2. Since the advent of social media, a new type of bullying has taken shape: cyberbullying. In addition to being bullied in the school environment, some young people still experience bullying when they get home on social media. Bullying is present on social media and bullying means that there is less guilt on the part of the bully because he does not see the reaction of the person he is bullying and he does not realize that he is actually bullying through social media. In addition, on social media, other people have more opportunity to encourage these gestures, for example by clicking “like” on Facebook. This bullying is extremely difficult for the person who lives it and, because it is a social media outlet, a large mass of people can see what is being published and it is growing in school settings.
  3. In terms of the use of computer and communication technologies in schools, there is often a lack of knowledge of teachers and also, the very high costs associated with ICT. These are major drawbacks of the use of ICT in school settings. The costs are high and not all schools can use it because of the costs. This can lead to discrimination, in a way, between schools with enough budgets to have access to ICT and those with fewer. Also, some teachers are not comfortable with information and communication technologies and may not use it or misuse it because of it.

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