social media and adult education

Using social media for educational purposes still remains a resource available to every adult educator. In January 2013, a study was published titled Social media in adult education. This study is still relevant even though some social media platforms have changed since then.

The study analyses the use of social media in adult education and contains theoretical and practical ideas based on research findings. The ways of mastering new social technologies could ensure better quality of life and education. The application of social media could help students and lecturers gain some benefit seeking teaching/ learning goals in the virtual environment of social media.

The study contains five chapters which focus on theoretical background giving explicit understanding of social media and its use in adult education (Chapter 1), ICT role in adult education (Chapter 2), the importance of information literacy (Chapter 3) and various modes of teaching/learning in formal education settings (Chapters 4). Firstly, the focus is on the concept of social media, revealing the versatility of the concept and the ways how social media could be integrated in adult education. Then ICT role in social life and education is highlighted and the necessity of information literacy skills is revealed as it is crucial in using social media for learning or personal purposes. The following chapter analyzes the connection of social media use with the central paradigms of adult education. Finally, the empirical research composed of two stages (Chapter 5) is presented containing the research methodology, data collection and discussion of the research findings.

The study has some good findings for adult educators. They include the positive effects of using social media which are summarized as follows:

  • Enhanced communication
  • Wide access to information
  • Possibility to reach vast numbers of people almost instantly
  • Information visualization
  • Simulation (enabling various sensory channels)
  • Sharing information
  • New forms of creativity
  • Economical nature, saving resources

The use of social media in adult education has undeniable positive effects and even being controversial in some ways it has vast opportunities to be used in adult education changing it towards the improvement.

Click here to read the whole study.