Trends in Adult Education

GOOGLE DRIVEgoogle drive image

Today’s world is developing at a phenomenal rate since the wake of technology. Every year as technology advances, so does the human desire to use and understand it.

I believe technology has become a positive influence in the learning environment. Many of us already use online sources for information and discovery and are familiar with online learning. But a newer trend in adult education is the use of social media. Why and how is social media used in the learning environment? Refer to the following link by Debbie Morrison (2013):

https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/three-social-trends-that-will-influence-education-in-2014/

As Morrison predicts, there are three social trends that can influence education. The ability to “Collaborate seamlessly whether distance or face-to-face”, “Humanizing interactions in online learning, meetings, presentation and classroom learning” and “Personalizing learning experiences where learners are taking control of their learning” (2013). Using social media technology for learning appears to be driven by several factors including: physical distance between learners/educators, a need to maintain social connection/collaboration and convenience in our busy lives.

In my teaching environment we use the social media ‘google drive’ to organize and structure practice lab sign up times. The students all have access and are able to add, check or update information anywhere on their own time. We also use blog posts in our sonography program to interact with students and use it as a source for discussion groups. These social media applications have proven  effective in our program by allowing collaboration of information between educators and students, remotely and at the convenience of the user.

There is still resistance to this form of learning and social interacting. This may stem from personal comfort level of the technology, access to the technology or bias towards historical ways of learning. I believe if technology and social media are applied effectively, all learners and educators can benefit from its functionality. Please share your comments.

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