How Social Media could be used to Support Formal and Informal Education Paper

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Explain how sites such as YouTube could be used to support formal and informal education. Specifically, given the current COVID pandemic and the problems caused by limited face-to-face opportunities, how can these tools be used to enhance education?

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How Social Media could be used to Support Formal and Informal Education.


Table of Contents

or! Bookmark not defined.
Speculating Social Media as an Educational Environment………………………………….5
Importance of Social Media Sites during COVID-19………………………………….........6
Importance of YouTube ....................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
Importance ofTwitter............................................................................................................ 11
Importance of Facebook and WhatsApp .............................................................................. 12
Criticism of Social Media in Education .............................................................................. 13
Criticism of Twitter .............................................................................................................. 15
Conclusion............................................................................................................................ 17
References ............................................................................................................................ 18


How Social Media could be used to Support Formal and Informal Education.
Education plays a critical role in people`s lives. Learning is one of the continuous process
that runs occur in everyone`s life. Pandemic on the other hand, are known to disrupt people dayto-day activities. Covid-19 for instance, transformed how people interact and do things. It
changed the current education system from a location based to distant setting, where tutors and
students meet online. However, the distant relationship of teachers and learners has made some
tutors not to deliver high quality content, forcing many parents to take the role of their children`s
teachers. In addiotn, the effect of COVID 19 on education is overwhelming. Studies show that
over 1.6 billion children and teenagers were forced to leave schools and other educational
institutions due to closures in most regions (González-Padilla & Tortolero-Blanco 2020). Even
though the pandemic is lenient on young people, it can still be transmitted, that is why most
schools had to be closed.
The closure of schools has made teachers and parents to be worried about the poor
performance of their children. This made them to take the roles of teachers, by guiding their
children through homework completion and lessons through online learning. Online training
continues to increase in popularity hence becoming an alternative to traditional schooling.
According to Sood & Chawal (n.d.), online coaching influences duties and productivity of
parents. To make their children learn well at home, parents need to provide online learning tools,
such as computers or mobile phones and have good internet connection. However, most of the
elementary school children are adapted to formal education that makes them interact physically
with their teachers. Therefore, for students to understand the online lessons, they need to be
compressed into a digital session, where paper reading materials are replaced with non-textured
screen (Hall, 2012). When learning is done on the mobile devices, students spend much of their


time going through the prescribed assignments and materials for several courses. This is a
challenge for many students, since most of them have a short attention span (Sood & Chawal
n.d). Even though the usage of online social media is increasing at an alarming rate, few students
and teachers are using the platform for instructional objectives. However, social media sites such
as YouTube continue to play a vital roles in formal and informal schooling, more so during the
Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the years, many people have been using social media. Nowadays, people search for
information on social media platforms (Czerkawski, 2016). Formal learning involves learning in
educational institutions. In this process of learning, students adapt informal learning, which can
happen at any location, such as museums. Online learning network continues to be one of the
major tools for both informal and formal leaning due to improvement of web-based technology
(Mpungose, 2020). Informal learning networks, on the other hand, provide students with studentcentered participative, although sometimes it offers unstructured learning possibilities.
Social media is known to connect both formal and informal learning. This is due to the
cases of complex usage by the young generation, hence making it the best choice for young
people. Even though academics encourage the usage of social media for formal and informal
learning, this research, is in most cases not properly theorized. People keep on referring to sites
and online applications to describe activities like socializing, collaborating and publishing that
make it easier for members to take part in different groups. Most of the social media platforms
are programmed with features where users update their information on profile pages to promote
their online existence. Connecting with other users using news feeds, as well as sharing usergenerated materials are some of the features of social media (Czerkawski, 2016). This made it


easier for pages to be updated. Most college students use social media sites such as You Tube.
Informal learning, which is known to be unstructured, is also as important as formal learning.
Social media facilitates both informal and academic learning (Mpungose, 2020). Students rely on
online community for formal learning while using social media platforms for casual learning.
Speculating Social Media as an Educational Environment
Even though education is important in the society, it faces limitation. One of the common
challenges it faces is that teachers cannot transfer information to students; instead, students must
actively build knowledge in their minds. This implies that learners need to uncover and analyze
information, compare different learning information and modify the rules when they are no
longer applicable. According to constructivists, students are active participants in the acquisition
of knowledge (Carwile, 2007). Besides, social constructivism and connectivism are the critical
initial places for thinking about social media at different levels formal and informal learning.
Constructivism is regarded as one of the vital concepts in education. According to
Greenhow & Lewin (2016), constructivism has many consequences on how teachers teach and
learn to teach. One of the critical contributions of constructivism is the focus on student-centered
learning. Constructivism focuses on how people learn and gain information (Greenhow & Lewin
2016). Due to this, it is applicable to education. According to constructivism, people get
knowledge from their experiences.
Connectivism allows for non-linearity, unanticipated network effects, and unintended
chaos in the learning process (Carwile, 2007). This is because learning occurs in murky
ecosystems with moving basic elements that are not entirely under our control. According to


connectivist principles, is a process of forming a network with nodes and linkages that appears to
be highly linked to social media activity (Greenhow & Lewin, 2016).
Importance of Social Media Sites during COVID-19
According to Temban, Hua, and Said, COVID-19 has prompted higher education
institutions to switch from face-to-face to online instruction as a result of the widespread
epidemic (2021). Many learning centers, more so in developing countries, lack well-established
web-based educational systems that allow students to form bonds.
Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent attempts to prevent it,
educational institutions of all sizes must adopt eLearning as the only feasible option for longterm education (Goel & Gupta, 2020). Social media has grown in importance as a tool for
potentially boosting student learning, facilitating relationships between students and their
teachers and peers, and immersing them in the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime event, with major lockdowns in place
all around the globe. Pandemics are infectious disease epidemics that spread across a large
geographic area and cause considerable morbidity and mortality. To prevent the spread of
COVID-19, various governments have imposed restrictions on citizens' movements, restricted
social activities, and encouraged people to stay at home, according to Sobaih, Hasanein, and Abu
Elnasr (2020). COVID-19's negative effects, including its imposed constraints, have affected
and will continue to harm thousands of people. COVID-19, among other things, has wreaked
havoc on the economy, medical system, and educational system. Students were obliged to stay at
home due to the closure of educational facilities. As a sort of social isolation, people spent more
time on social media throughout the pandemic (Sobaih, Hasanein & Abu Elnasr, 2020).


Day-to-day operations of academic institutions have changed as a result of this. Students
rely on collaborative learning to improve their academic performance in an educational context.
By allowing learners to immediately network with peers and subject experts, social media
provides a learning platform that encourages collaborative learning. During the first three months
of the COVID-19 outbreak, social media platforms reported a 61 percent spike in site traffic
compared to typical levels (Goel & Gupta, 2020). Students have previously claimed that the urge
to communicate with family, instructors, classmates, coworkers, and friends is a driving factor in
their use of social media. On the other hand, social media is currently a means of
communication that allows instructors and students to link online learning platforms while
keeping social distance limits in mind. During COVID-19, the use of social media in education
has grown in importance, as it improves opportunities for interaction and cooperation for
individuals who are just getting started with social media (Temban, Huav& Said, 2021).
Teachers, students, and academic institutions may use social media to change their
teaching or learning approaches to get around COVID-19's limits. Learners access live streaming
services through social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, where they
can participate in ongoing debates about current events and remain in touch with peers.
Educators may benefit from paying more attention to students' daily use of social media sites and
what they learn from them, according to a new study (Sobaih, Hasanein, & Abu Elnasr, 2020).
During the COVID-19 outbreak, this was especially true. However, according to (Goel & Gupta,
2020), just a small number of students use social media in sophisticated ways that professors
would appreciate. The lack of contemporary paradigms that recognize social media as a venue
for informal learning exacerbates the problem. There's also a lot of discussion on the advantages
and disadvantages of using technology into daily learning. This is due to the fact that there has


been relatively little research on the links that such platforms can allow between formal, nonformal, and informal learning.
In informal learning approaches, the use of social networks is almost non-existent.
Learners can participate in online interaction programs such as chats and debates by using social
media sites. According to Chen and Bryer (2012), it could be a beneficial tool for learning and
connecting academic and informal learning situations. This connection provides a unique
opportunity to communicate with professionals, professors, resources, and other students in
multimedia formats.
Furthermore, according to Temban, Huav, and Said (2021), social media technologies
can be used to portray the context of education in a meaningful way that goes beyond traditional
classroom teaching approaches. Educators or instructors, in general, are in charge of changing
instructional methodologies using social media networks. This encourages students to employ a
collaborative learning approach in the classroom so that they may instantly communicate via
social media and share their creative ideas, which are critical for their development. Using social
media in education, any student or learner can win any official or informal contest.
Importance of YouTube
Because to YouTube, the educational landscape has shifted tremendously. Education has
been closely linked to it. It is a video-sharing company that provides high-quality education,
according to Lange (2019), and has seen tremendous growth in recent years. It is common
knowledge that video-based eLearning is an effective learning tool. As a result, Temban Hua &
Said (2021) suggest that YouTube enhances studies by adding a dynamic element, increasing


information transfer, making complicated methods more understandable, and assisting in the
explanation of difficult-to-understand concepts.
Portugal Arruda & Passos (2018) claim that a student from one country can acquire
access to education from another country by using YouTube. In addition, if a student is having
trouble understanding a concept, they can go over it again. Teachers, on the other hand, can
deliver high-quality education to a large number of students who would otherwise be unable to
obtain it. As a result, YouTube education is more effective than any other resource since
graphics have a larger psychological influence on students (Arruda & Passos, 2018).
Students pay substantially greater attention to the videos than they would in a traditional
classroom setting. This makes learning more enjoyable and simple. Furthermore, no instructional
materials, such as chairs, desks, classrooms, or other school supplies, are necessary for learning.
All that is required is a smartphone and a strong and continuous internet connection.
YouTube has evolved into one of the most powerful educational media platforms ever.
Web 2.0 has altered the way people learn and the environment in which they study. YouTube,
being one of the most popular search engines on the planet, offers educators, parents, and
students of all ages a wealth of instructional resources (Lange, 2019). On YouTube, there are
currently more instructive videos than books in the Library of Congress. YouTube is an
“appealing medium for informal learning”, according to Somyürek (2019), since it allows people
to express themselves in an uncontrolled, unvented setting with little or no editing. Another
element that distinguishes YouTube as a resource for informal learning is the freedom with
which users can make and consume material.


Scholars in the fields of media studies and anthropology have carried out substantial
research on the inclusion of educational components into YouTube's informal educational
context. The majority of research shows how “YouTube” can be used at various places along a
“theoretical continuum” between purely academic and informal learning (Lange, 2019).
YouTube was developed with the goal of enabling users to watch, share, and comment on each
other's video creations online. Academic specialists now see aspects of Facebook's social
networking as learning opportunities rather than diversions, the inverse is also true. Since
YouTube has been accepted by many academic institutions, instructional YouTube channels are
being formed on the platform (Dyosi & Hattingh, 2018). As a result, YouTube is being used in
both professional and non-professional settings to improve the overall quality. Teachers use parts
of YouTube in the classroom to inspire their pupils to do research and make their own films on
the platform.
Professionals on YouTube should be aware that the teaching and learning relationships
found on the site differ from those found in more formal or informal situations. According to
Dyosi & Hattingh (2018), social media learning involves both inadvertent and self-directed
learning because it allows people to learn both at home and in social settings. It is possible to
build technical knowledge and skills using informal technology-assisted learning. Since
YouTube has developed into one of the most major educational knowledge sources, many people
see the advantages of using it as a casual tool. Open-ended, non-threatening, and exploratory
learning environments can be informative and pleasurable at the same time. To put it another
way, YouTube is ideal for informal learning (Endres, 2020). As a medium for informal learning,
YouTube appeals to me since it allows people to express themselves freely in an unregulated


Teachers all throughout the world are doing their best to cultivate and sustain pupils' enthusiasm
for science. Unfortunately, professors' hopes that science would become more popular among
students have not come true. Parallel to this, YouTube science videos and films are becoming
increasingly popular among youngsters as a form of scientific training and communication.
Many science-related YouTube channels have tens of millions of subscribers and millions of
views per video.
Many causes drive people to YouTube, but one thing is clear: they're studying science
while doing so. Learning how science is portrayed in these films may help formal education
improve the efficiency of scientific teaching by enhancing learners' interest in science. While
neither the teacher nor the student have any control in what is taught or learned in the classroom,
both parties on YouTube can have a say (Endres, 2020). While the link between school and
knowledge is well-established, the link between YouTube and knowledge is dependent on the
learner's willingness to learn about anything.
Importance of Twitter
Social media and other open, online venues have become normal practice for lifelong
informal learning. A person can send and receive brief messages known as tweets using Twitter
and retweet and comment on other people's tweets while using this service, for example (Kumar
& Gruzd, 2019). If you're interested in other subjects outside politics and sports, you can follow
other people to find out about them. People can use social media, such as Twitter, to obtain
information, discuss ideas, and work with others who have similar passions. According to Kumar
& Gruzd (2019), one of the most popular microblogging social networks, Twitter has grown
enormously in popularity since its inception in 2006.


Twitter has been shown to increase teaching, learning, and learning methodologies
through engaging, effective communication procedures, course moderation and assessment, and
opportunities for professional progress. It's been a long time since multimodal learning
environments and collaborative chances for interactions between instructors and students, as well
as between students and instructors, were possible (Kumar & Gruzd, 2019).
Teachers would welcome Twitter as a rich and open online platform for strengthening teaching
methods and accomplishing specific learning objectives both within and outside of traditional
classrooms. Teachers, for example, are not just academics when they make use of Twitter.
Instead, they use the platform to exchange knowledge and resources with their professional
networks, broadcast information about academic assignments, solicit assistance and guidance
from others, and engage in social commentary and discussions with people outside of their
Importance of Facebook and WhatsApp
Faculty personnel, according to studies, are also utilizing social media for academic and
professional purposes. Addition of social media in the learning environment can lead to new
sorts of cooperation, discovery work, identity work, interaction and beneficial intellectual, social
& emotional effects, according to study (Cain & Policastri, 2011). The most popular social
media networks for academic communication include Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp.
“Facebook” and “WhatsApp” are the most commonly used technology in higher education,
according to the authors, for a variety of scholarly reasons. The question of whether or not social
networking sites help students acclimatize to college life has been studied in detail by several


Facebook, according to Goel & Gupta (2020), is a useful tool for raising student achievement,
enhancing student involvement, and helping students become more self-aware during the
learning process. Due to a shortage of technology platforms and official learning management
systems, several public higher education institutions relied on social media platforms such as
Facebook and WhatsApp to keep formal academic communication flowing during the COVID19 lockdown (Sobaih, Hasanein & Abu Elnasr, 2020). Google Classroom and Zoom had never
been introduced to the students, and no training was provided.
When it comes to communicating with their students, most professors can only use
Facebook or WhatsApp. Academic success and the usage of Facebook for learning have a strong
association, though. On social networking websites like Facebook and YouTube there are many
opportunities for social interaction, close cooperation, information sharing and resource sharing.
Confidence and sound thinking are developed. They'll benefit from this since pupils will feel
supported and motivated to do their best in the course material and assessments. Studying a
foreign language with the goal of communicating across cultures. Positive impacts on the
expression of emotions.
Criticism of Social Media in Education
While social media can be a useful learning tool for people of all ages, it should be noted
that it also has certain drawbacks and poses some hazards and security challenges for its users,
with youngsters being the most vulnerable. In spite of its importance in formal and informal
education, social media sites have been criticized by certain academics for their use in learning
and education, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students' use of Facebook has been
related to poor academic performance. Students are less engaged in class if they spend more time


on Facebook. Furthermore, according to Cain & Policastri (2011), spending too much time on
Facebook can hurt one's academic performance in college.
Furthermore, research shows that students' grade point averages suffer when they use
Facebook while trying to accomplish coursework (Garcia et al., 2015). In addition, a study by
Mpungose (2020) indicated that students' extracurricular use of social media disrupted learning,
especially for slow learners. Students may also use the platforms for non-academic goals like
socializing instead of using them as a formal learning tool. The supposed poor quality of
YouTube's vernacular content has been widely discussed. YouTube's variable video quality,
according to some, encourages new video creators to begin filming and uploading their own
content. As evidenced by the large number of videos and comments about improving video
creation work, the site has a "discourse of quality" where members of different abilities, from
beginners to specialists, dialectically debate how to improve their tasks. These chances for casual
communication, on the other hand, create a participation dilemma.
Despite the fact that “vernacular media” artists are frequently seeked to take part in
platforms like YouTube, they are sometimes penalized rather than rewarded for their alleged
disregard for artistry, aesthetic quality, and participation ethics (Lange, 2019).
New members must learn in an uncomfortable setting because of the participation issue. Putting
your work online and gaining comments from your audience and other media providers is an
excellent example of collaborative informal learning. Sharing work while learning a new talent,
on the other hand, highlights a creator's possible flaws and growth opportunities (Lange, 2019).
Despite the fact that some academics see YouTube as an opportunity to promote connected and
collaborative learning, others are concerned that the site creates a dangerous environment for
students who are trying out new skills.


Some content creators dislike video tutorials because they encourage the development of
“technical identities” that favor certain types of learning over others. Tutorials are a valid method
of instruction for some pupils. Drotner, on the other hand, argues that new media skills are less
valuable or acceptable for people with more specialized backgrounds (2008). The majority of
technical participants choose trial-and-error learning over tutorials for more in-depth and
acceptable information. Users who are more technically proficient may regard tutorial viewing as
a low-status form of duplication of learning that hinders rather than helps advancement (Lange,
2019). Despite the fact that video tutorials and other informal films are beneficial to many
individuals, they can also be used to generate views and promote an artist's personal profile.
Almost all of the research done so far has focused on student cohorts and the learning
processes that take place in informal educational environments. Observing informal learning
processes in open online contexts necessitates the development of more precise and reliable
techniques for analyzing learner dialogues via asynchronous coordination and engagement via
social media platforms like Twitter (Kumar & Gruzd, 2019). Students can learn in a variety of
ways outside of traditional educational settings, such as in unorganized student learner groups on
Criticism of Twitter.
Mental distractions and hindrances are common with the use of social networking sites in
particular. They urge students to spend more time on social media, rather than studying, by
creating these websites. All of this ends up being a complete waste of time and resources.
Students frequently miss due dates due to their obsession with social media platforms.
Unrestrained usage of social networking sites, on the other hand, can harm your mental and
physical health. Students are skipping meals, spending excessive time on their phones or laptops,
and getting insufficient sleep, all of which can lead to health problems. As a result of these


activities, students get exhausted and disinterested in studying or simply meeting new people. As
a result, parents should keep a watchful eye on their children's online activity. Students who
spend too much time on social media may suffer from eye strain, bodily stress, and mental stress
as a result of their excessive use. Students' reading habits and research abilities improve as they
grow more reliant on social media platforms for information and knowledge.
By encouraging technologically connected communities, social media has the ability to
bridge the gap between formal and informal learning. The consumer role has largely replaced the
participatory role in the minds of young people. Formal and informal learning environments
benefit from the use of social media, according to some researchers who believe it can enhance
the quality of both. When you use social media, you may share and assess your community more
easily, which facilitates communication and participation in multimodal le...

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