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Snapchat scores top marks with students and teachers

While social media is a great place to share your bathroom selfies and pictures of every meal you’ve ever eaten (ever!), it is also fast-becoming recognised for its potential role in education.

Social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are already being utilised by educators to make announcements to their students, share information, or organise group discussions, but social media could take on an even more hands-on role.

In an article trending on Medium, student Andrew Watts gave some insight into how his age group is using popular social platforms.

While Watts described Facebook as “something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave”, he did praise Facebook’s Groups function – which many of his fellow students use frequently.

On the other hand, the 19-year-old Watts had nothing but good things to say about Snapchat.

“Snapchat is where we can really be ourselves while being attached to our social identity.” he said. “Without the constant social pressure of a follower count or Facebook friends, I am not constantly having these random people shoved in front of me.”

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It’s the intimate and engaging nature of social apps such as Snapchat that could make them valuable tools for educators.

In a recent study by Monash University, two lecturers at the Faculty of Education, Dr Michael Henderson and Dr Michael Phillips, wanted to find another means of communicating feedback on assignments instead of writing comments in the margins.

“Even if students read the feedback, some researchers have argued that they do little with it, resulting in lecturers complaining that the many hours spent in providing feedback feels like wasted effort,” Dr Phillips said.

The two lecturers decided to test out the effectiveness of video feedback, so over three separate trial periods they filmed five-minute videos for each of their 126 students.

The results were incredibly positive, with students not only finding video feedback easier to comprehend than written comments, it also increased their connection with their teachers from 25 per cent in the first trial, to 91.7 per cent in the third.

While the study didn’t use Snapchat in particular, the researchers felt the platform could become a valuable for this method of feedback in the not-too-distant future.

Posted by Dylan Brown

Castleford