I believe there are many benefits of learning with social media, and have been working to document them in formal scholarly research. But here is some anecdotal evidence – an example that shows what can happen in some of the best case scenarios.
In my social media research seminar, students are required to blog analyses of 5 scholarly articles of their choice. This assignment rewards students for reading in their own area of interest. In this particular case (and it’s not the only one, though it doesn’t happen as frequently as I would wish), the author of the article the student analyzed found the blog post and commented on it.
This shows how learning with social media extends beyond the classroom – students learn from people who are not in the class, and even long after the course is over. It’s a beautiful thing.
So, if you read this, or you read any student work in your area, please consider taking the time to leave a comment. It is a very satisfying learning experience for students to engage with you, and to learn outside the classroom.
Thank you, David Barnard-Wills!