All of you are busy in updating your Facebook status and uploading your photos on Instagram. But have you ever thought seriously about using social media as a learning tool? Social Media is now an ingrained part of our society. It’s no secret that social media is at the core of most people’s lives. It influences how we live, how we work, and now more than ever, how we learn. No matter how much one tries, it is extremely difficult to stay away from social media. While most of the people are busy criticizing and counting the ill effects of social media we must not forget that every coin has two sides.
Similar is the case with social media for students. No matter how much you criticize it, social media can actually be used as a learning tool if you have the intent. Same object can be viewed as two different things depending on the perspective of the person using it. E.g. a knife is good when it is used to chop vegetables but becomes dangerous when one uses it to harm someone.
According to a recent study, more and more teachers and professors are incorporating the use of social media in education to engage students and support their overall development, whether online or in person. In short – social media as a learning tool is shaping and influencing how students learn and interact today. So instead of running away and deleting and deactivating all your accounts when you start your preparation for GATE or ESE.
Try to inculcate the use of social media platforms in education to your advantage as the collaborative environment and open forum that social media encourages, along with the rapid-pace of information sharing that it facilitates, can accelerate your preparation and prove to be a helping hand for your examination.
Today we would like to discuss about the various social media platforms that are available in India and how they can be used as a learning tool.
- Facebook:Facebook is a platform which is normally used by users to upload photos, add friends and interact with people. Well for the students who are preparing for an examination, Facebook can be used to connect with other fellow aspirants. You can join groups on Facebook that are dedicated to the preparation of GATE or ESE. The official MADE EASY page on Facebook is also very important as it updates you about all the latest job vacancies, exam schedule and also about the new batches or test series that the institute is starting for the students. Initiatives like Face GATE help the students in practicing good quality questions and simultaneously interact with fellow aspirants.There are also groups where students discuss questions related to examination. If you too are stuck in any question you can post it on the page and you are sure to find the solution to it by the same day. You can also connect with experts of a particular subject. By connecting with these experts you learn more and gain useful content from them, this empowers you to produce better results.
So, instead of wasting time in scrolling through people’s profile and photos, Facebook can be used to keep yourself updated of all the new vacancies, connect with other aspirants and experts and solve any issue or problem you are facing while preparation.
- WhatsApp/Telegram:WhatsApp is a tried and tested platform now and telegram has come into picture recently as far as education sector is concerned. Well these platforms have groups for various examinations like GATE / ESE/ UPSC/CAT. Joining any group helps you connect with other students. The groups post daily news, pdf of books, any important pdf from coaching materials, results of examination and many more. Being a part of such groups not only makes you aware but also the students in these group conduct various quizzes and tests, participating in them helps you revise and practice any topic or subject you think requires more practice.
Telegram on the other hand has still not reached all the students but there are dedicated channels on telegram where you can find the study material for any examination. Due to the larger strength of students available on a single group, telegram has now become a one stop app for most of the aspirants. So while preparing for GATE or ESE/IES, you can join telegram groups for study material, test series, books and also to connect with your fellow aspirants. It also has the option to share large media files, so sharing of any video or study tutorial is also just a click away. You can search for all the groups which are related to your examination in telegram through google and as per your need without any invitation or approval you can join the group of your choice.
In these social media platforms too sometimes there are subject experts or toppers of examination which help clear your doubts and instill confidence in you. While WhatsApp has a limit on the number of members that can join a group, telegram is a great platform to reach out to thousands of students and form your own study group.
- Quora:As a learning platform, Quora is one of the most amazing social media platforms. It is a very interactive platform where one can ask questions and anybody who feels they are the right person can answer it. Quora is used by many aspirants to get a clear picture of the examination they are preparing for and how should they prepare for it. Questions like ‘What books are important for GATE’, ‘How many hours should one study’, ‘The rank needed for various PSUs’, ‘Best coaching for ESE preparation’ which every aspirant has in mind when one starts preparing, are answered very nicely by fellow aspirants or previous years’ toppers. Through Quora you can also connect with various toppers that are available on Quora and ask them any questions that have been making you inquisitive. So Quora can be used very effectively before starting the preparation to know how to start and while preparing to check if you are on the right track or not.
Quora also has the option of blog where various toppers describe their journey to excellence. They share their preparation strategy, books one should refer to, best coaching one can join and any important technique or method one can use to crack the exam. Following these toppers and reading their blogs can help you get better insight about the examination and know what toppers do differently that brings them success. They also write about how their life has changed and what life is after you crack GATE or ESE examination. Reading those blogs will inspire you to work doubly hard to live the life you have dreamt of.
- YouTube:With the fall in the price of internet YouTube has become the new study platform for students. Right from dedicated studying channels, to toppers talk to subject classes and everything, students have an access to all the educational videos from around the world for free. So while studying if you are unable to understand a particular topic all you need is to search it on YouTube and you have expert teachers who can explain it to you in a matter of minutes through visual media in step by step format. YouTube is an amazing platform for all the GATE and ESE aspirants. Any doubt you have about the exam, syllabus, preparation or how your life will be after clearing the examination, all is contained in this little Pandora’s box. It promotes self-directed learning which gives you the independence to search for answers and make perfect decisions. YouTube broadens your perspective on various subjects and gives illuminating, instant content that is new.
National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is a joint initiative from IITs and IISc to offer online courses and certification in various topics. With courses of most engineering branches available on the NPTEL’s YouTube platform, it is an easy learning and understanding social media tool for the GATE and ESE aspirants. The branches are subdivided based on the subjects. Along with written lectures on NPTEL’s website, it also provides the students with the best lecture classes of various expert professors of IITs and IISC on YouTube. This platform is used by students both in college as well as the ones who are preparing for GATE or ESE examination to understand any concept in a better way and also practice the questions that are available at the end of each subject.
TED videos: A very famous platform to know about all the ideas worth sharing, TED is a huge community with various types on videos. It has videos describing any new scientific invention, various methods to learn better, inspirational videos and videos for all the questions one has about studying. This platform helps spark the light of success in the students. The videos can be used to learn about time management, fast learning, keeping calm and many more. In the same platform we also have TEDx videos were many a times toppers of examination like civil services are called to share their ideas. These videos are very motivational and inspire one to work harder and reach the top of the ladder of success. (3 Best TED Talks for Students)
Under the video you also have the option to ask any question if you have confusion about what you have read. Not only in studying but YouTube is also your friend in distress. With the immense amount of videos on YouTube one can also find videos of toppers and how their lives have changed after cracking the exam. Many other inspirational videos are also present on the platform which can boost up your confidence and get you back to studies more dedicated and focused. So instead of roaming around with a book or notes in hand one can always make use of the smart phone by watching educational videos on you tube.
- Twitter:While twitter these days has become a controversial platform to post your views and opinions. What one misses out on is the fact that whatever is new, is on twitter. So if you want to keep yourself updated with the news and any opinions that people have about the latest development, twitter is the friend for you. You can manage your twitter account by following news channels, good politicians and anchors as whatever is going on in the world, twitter is the first to know all about it. So one can use twitter as a learning tool by going through it whenever you are free and keeping yourself up to date with any new invention and the changing landscape of the country or around the world.
- MADE EASY Student Portal:The Student Portal of MADE EASY is a platform that allows students to interact with each other as well as the senior faculty and toppers of the institutes. It is an interactive social media platform where students can post any question that they want to know about and interact with other students on the platform.
This platform is also a one point stop for all the students after they are done with their examination. The platform will provide the students an insight into the examination, type of questions asked, answers, the expected cut-off and depending on the number of students available one can also predict their rank. Thus this platform will act as a friend in your preparation which will answer all your queries and help you reach your goal.
- EDX: A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider and an online learning platform. It hosts free online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide audience. If you have a confusion regarding any subject or if you want to learn something new, then EDX is the platform for you. This platform has professors from reputed universities like MIT, Harvard and Princeton which teach you various courses through video lectures and thus are of great help to students.
Social Media though has both positive and negative sides to it and it is completely on the user to decide which one he/she wants to experience. While some people believe that being on social media during preparation hampers your study and distracts your mind but it can completely add to your preparation if used with utmost care and discipline. Platforms like YouTube, MADE EASY Student Portal and Telegram are actually the go to apps for all the students preparing for GATE or ESE. Social media also allows students more freedom to connect and collaborate beyond the physical classroom, which means students anywhere can start to experience the globally connected world long before they enter the workforce.
While social media can never replace conventional classrooms but they are always going to act as a catalyst to accelerate the preparation of the aspirants. So with the changing world that is going towards digitization, it is also necessary that students make the best use of their smart phone they carry everywhere. Instead of using it as a tool to distract you and derail you from your studies. Make it your friend and use it to the best of its ability.
All the Best.