Social software has become popular in education in the recent past. Teachers are increasingly using social software in teaching and training. However, much still needs to be done to harness the benefit of social software in education owing to the challenges that technology faces in its deployment. Current paper concerns the use of social software in education and analyzes the use of the tools in training and teaching, effective ways of using them, and how to promote online learning through social software.
Social Software and Effective Use in Teaching
Social software is a group of services and applications that allow participatory and collaborative interaction on the Internet. The idea behind social software is to bring creative interaction between people on the Internet by making activities such as online meetings, messages, and video sharing between people. There are many social software including the email, blogs, websites, and instant messaging (JISC, 2013).
Social software has become an important tool in learning and teaching. The email, for instance, can be used to send notes and other communication materials between the teacher and the learner. Websites are tailored to assist learners to get specific information and learning material in their various subjects. Websites can also be used to facilitate learning to teach learners who are located in a different country. Students who want to get particular information can access it on specialized blogs (Clarke & Watts-Taffe, 2013).
How Social Software can Benefit Teacher Preparation, Training, and Education
- Social software allows for sharing and accession of information material that teachers require for teaching their classes.
- They also facilitate communication between trainers located in a different place/country during training. It is done through emails and videoconferencing services like Skype and chat. Through these apps, teachers are able to access information necessary for preparation to their classes.
- In education, social software facilitates sharing of professional information between teachers. Teachers can sign up for newsletters from professional bodies which are then delivered to them via emails (Penalvo, Miguel & Pardo, 2014).
Mobile Learning and How It is Used to Support E-learning
Mobile learning is a form of e-learning across several contexts through content and social interactions. It is facilitated through personal electronic devices like mobile phones and other electronic devices. Mobile learning is used by educational institutions to reach out to students at their off-campus locations and during their convenient time (Clarke & Watts-Taffe, 2013).
How to Promote Active Online Learning Environment
There is a need to promote training and awareness among teachers through programs that encourage and award teachers who use technology in their classes. It will allow creativity and innovation in the way technology tools are applied in online learning environment. Ensure that technology tools used in online learning are secure and provide high quality learning. Concern has been expressed on the authenticity and quality of online learning programs because it is thought that it is easy to cheat while learning online. Securing the methods will restore the faith of many stakeholders in education, and allow as many people as possible to embrace online learning (Peñalvo, Miguel & Pardo, 2014).