The stereotypical modern student often looks through his or her social media accounts during class time by using a smartphone or tablet. While this can be a major distraction from class, the tools can also help learning. For example, students can use social media to talk to each other about different homework assignments, and professors can even use the applications on social media sites to engage students through compelling content.
There are several tricks to making this work, according to a recent article on Campus Technology. One of these is to avoid what the author calls a social media flavor of the month. This means, instead of using a publicly available platform that may eventually become unpopular, it may be better to use preexisting programs the students already have, such as their dental academic software. This product is just as effective as social media applications like Facebook at getting students talking together. Many of the same things exist on the platform as on social media, such as online forums and the ability to send personalized messages to different people – including the professor. Displaying classroom content centered on dentistry is also the essential function of this digital tool, so it has abilities that make putting up information much easier.
For example, the professor could regularly update his or her dental academic software with new dentistry quizzes to help students learn better and gain more practice. These quizzes can feature hundreds of questions that students can continually cycle through, so that each quiz they take will be different. Professors can also prune content, adding and subtracting to maximize the utility of the website.
Students also have much to gain from dental and hygiene academic software.
People who work together in groups tend to learn better than those who study alone. A best-case scenario would be working together to study for an exam, and then spending a few quiet hours alone with the books and the dental school software o maximize the utility of the final moments on the night before a large test. Online content can make both of these situations possible because students can email each other questions and ask the professor for more guided help, and then when the exam finally approaches, they can bore into the content on the website to reach a fuller understanding of the material, preparing themselves by meticulously going through online flash cards and reading different research studies.
Going against the grain
Inside Higher Ed, which supports technology in the educational universe, recently posted a list of the common complaints people make against social media in the classroom. One of these is that learning management systems aren't as good as Facebook at doing what professors need them to do. However, this discounts the major benefits of a proper LMS, which is its ability to open outward and look at research being done elsewhere in the field, along with having a sharp focus on dentistry. Facebook is a tool for connecting socially with different people, while dental academic software is directly narrowed down to teaching students about dentistry and providing them all the tools they need for self study and working with a professor. While students can't upload photos of themselves and tag their faces with dental academic software, professors can upload textbook pages and provide links to relevant dental research bulletins, which Facebook can't handle as easily.
Professors who use social media can benefit from specialized tools, while those who haven't used internet-based learning may want to try it. The education system is changing, and professors should not let themselves fall behind the times.