Social Media is a great tool to enhance active learning. A recent survey indicates that students and professionals use websites such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Google/Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, Podcasts, Twitter, and blogs to communicate and share technical information, events, jobs and much more. However, like any other entity, social media is not free from being misused. It does have pros and cons associated with it.
The main benefits of social media in education are realized when information between students and teachers is processed in almost no time. Now the lectures can be recorded and uploaded on the internet or e-learning, and students can view those at any time. Highly ranked universities have even posted lectures of their distinguished professors to be available to anyone in the world. Thus social media has given birth to distance learning. Now an international learner can grasp difficult concepts of chemical engineering relatively quickly. With the help of social Media the quality and the quantity of education have increased manifold. Consequently, the skills, knowledge, and attributes required in a chemical engineering graduate have been improved.
The use of social media in education has its pitfalls as well. The number one problem is plagiarism and copyright violations, mostly in Asian countries. Besides, many websites offer students paid services to help them complete their projects and even masters and PhD thesis. Online solutions to standard textbooks questions are available to students as well. It becomes challenging for teachers to examine the actual ability of his/her students. Thus the great number of students in Asian countries graduating with high GPA is found struggling in meeting the standards of their job. The other problem in using social Media is how to ensure the authenticity of data available. Besides, much public domain software is found giving erroneous results. Therefore, one has to be very careful about using these tools. Moreover, it has been observed that when students use social media, they are easily distracted to other activities like gaming, sports watching videos etc. instead of focusing on their assignments.