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Integrate social media in education

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear Editor,

Over the years, educators throughout the Caribbean have sought to advance teaching and learning in our schools by exchanging best practices and utilising novel ideas that have emerged from their extensive studies. However, they have failed to capitalise robustly on technology, particularly social media, in propelling the educational achievements of our students.

Our students are undeniably captivated by social media. Many of them spend most of their time browsing the internet and communicating with their peers via popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In light of their intrinsic attraction to technology, let us use social networks as principal instructional tools. Countries such as Singapore and Uruguay have been harnessing Information Communication Technology as a powerhouse for strengthening their education systems. Their success is most pronounced among their highly literate population. This success can be equally attained in Jamaica if we make use of varied technological applications in our schools.

Locally, telecommunication giants such as Digicel, Lime and Flow can help to sponsor fastspeed internet access in all our schools. This would enable our teachers to integrate meaningfully social media in their regular classroom instructions while stimulating self-directed learning among students.

More of our instructors also need to concentrate their efforts on developing educational websites that can support the diverse learning needs of students, while presenting learning as an enjoyable and interactive activity.

I must therefore commend the creators of the website Sciencetutr.com. This website is poised to provide a wide assortment of tutorial aides for CSEC and CAPE preparations, while connecting students from all over the Caribbean region in an online classroom. Students will therefore be collectively motivated to work hard, have meaningful cultural exchanges, study content that is tailored to meet their needs and receive one-on-one assistance in maximising their potentials. This is indeed a great thrust towards innovative and dynamic teaching. After all, we must abolish many of our traditional teaching methods for our own progression.

Let us therefore make a more conscious effort to improve our education system by using the technology that most piques our students’ interests and by involving the entire Caribbean region in combating poor performances.

Shawna Kay Williams

The Mico University College


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