Social media tools in education

The education landscape is being changed by social media tools. These educational social gaming tools are primarily grouped into two classes: those with a basic focus on social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, and those that focus on sharing user-generated content such as YouTube, Flickr, and blogs. It is the combination of casualness and simplicity of updating that makes social media engagement so appealing.

Institutions and educators can therefore be granted a real opportunity to connect creative educational social gaming activities , especially when it comes to group work. Social media also offers the possibility to support students with their independent research.


Blogs are used for personal updates, opinion, news, progress tracking and so on. They are the most entrenched and best understood of all the social media tools, and remain relevant. They are used in education for recording personal development through a course or degree program, formal course delivery, for graded work, for tracking progress on research projects, and of course for public engagement.

Real-time chat and instant messaging

Instant messaging (IM) and real-time text or video chat are synchronous communication tools that offer a more personal and private gateway for discussion in an educational setting. Instant messaging grants users the ability to send short, text-based updates to on another via desktop, web or mobile clients. Real-time chat tools are used for more involved communication, where participants can enter a shared online space for longer and more detailed exchange.

Status Broadcasting

Status broadcasting is sharing mini updates on what a person is doing, their location, or what they are thinking about. These updates may include URLs, images, or geographic information however brief text comments are generally posted. Status broadcasts enable less formal communication, and may be brief and short lived or far more substantive interactions.