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Education, Social Media and Online Security – Help or Hindrance?

Education, Social Media and Online Security – Help or Hindrance?

Social media’s role in Education
There is much debate in current theory over how appropriate it is for social media to be implemented in the recruitment processes of universities. Many argue that it’s a dangerous step given the additional management and time required to control the messages and opinions that are expressed. However, it cannot be denied that the social media sphere is where the majority of a university’s target audience hang out and so it would be idiotic to ignore the obvious potential…

Universities and Social Media
It cannot be denied that the vast majority of prospective students are social media connoisseurs so it makes sense for university marketing teams to venture down this trail in their recruiting activities. The days of paper leaflets and bulky prospectuses are fading fast and in order to stay relevant to students, it’s imperative that universities drop the obsession with tradition and pride and remember as Renault keep telling us… we live in modern times. Many universities have already adopted these strategies encouraging students to engage in friendly banter on their Facebook pages, or use it as a source for prospective students to engage with the experiences of current students. The big worry many universities have is, how do you stop people publicly slating you? Well the answer… you can’t really so get over it. If someone wants to write something derogatory, they will and at least if it’s on your page you are able to monitor such comments for any validity and perhaps get to grips with some of the truths that you choose to ignore but which are preventing recruitment! The fact is social media sites are basically self-regulating and all you have to do is facilitate.

That is, for every negative comment made there will someone waiting to refute it often a happy student! It’s important not to shy away from the bad because the fact is; no university is or has ever been, above ridicule. Rather than becoming obsessed over whether or not to take the plunge into social media universities should perhaps be more concerned over the growing issue of online security, both on a practical level and in an educational context. Given that all university students are legally adults there seems to be less of a concern about protecting their online experiences. However, it’s still important that students are deterred from visiting inappropriate sites on campus, for their own safety, for the comfort of others and indeed to allow for optimum productivity on the student’s part. Additionally universities, as institutes of learning should be a primary setting for educating people on the actual threats and dangers inherent with unprotected online activity to make them more astute.