Time says we must bring social media to class

June 30th marks the global celebration of social media. These websites and applications enable us to create, share content, or network. Though social media has received backlash given the lack of proper regulation of content, it has grown rapidly and there are new additions every other day. Some of the dangers associated with the use of social media

In Uganda, there were 2.5 million social media users in January 2020. The number has increased by 532 thousand (+27%) between April 2019 and January 2020 according to Global Digital Insights. The growth in the number of social media users is evidence of the importance and power these platforms hold.

The year 2020 has treated us to terms that strongly suggest change like “the new normal”. Many have been forcibly made to join an app or join just one more to communicate with the popular webinars and Skype not being enough. There was a zoom boom! It goes without saying that social media has come to stay, better we harness the power.

One of the longest affected sectors during this COVID19 quarantine measures have been the schools.

More than a school term has been lost, many of the private teachers are not being paid and schools are counting losses like many other businesses. Now is the sure indicating time that educators in Uganda must embrace social media for its potential to thrive in the new normal.

It is time for lectures to be live-streamed such that university students that have got an opportunity to find work early enough will study while taking that business trip. It will help student mothers be in the hospital and not miss a class. It will enable us a country to get conversant with the computer systems. When fridges are now internet-connected, surely even our education system can be scientific!

Like everything new to society, social media education has to be navigated well. This generation loves their gadgets and introducing them to the classroom is sure to make it enjoyable. However, there is a lot of improper conduct so policies that suit our context as a nation must be put in place.

It is time to develop our learner’s mindsets that social media is not an after-school activity but will be the part of their lives; the way private cars have proven to be a necessity rather than a luxury.

May even the debate of scientific elections make all teachers realize that the future leaders we are educating need to learn digital skills to be good citizens.

There will have to be policy, regulations, trials, and learning from failure but the wave has come, we must embrace it.

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