With the continuous advancement of technologies, we gain new opportunities to engage people in learning. An example is to integrate social networking sites in the curriculum. If you choose to use a social networking site to hire people into education, the logical choice would be to select the social networking site with the most users. This is, of course, Facebook, it is known around the globe and is the number one social networking site with more than 2,2 billion users. But although it has more than two times the users Instagram has, the Facebook community is much less engaged than the Instagram community. To make your account look more natural and interesting to your audience, you can choose to buy real Instagram followers. It would make more sense to use Instagram as your primary social networking site to reach out to a full, active community. This is precisely what the UCLA Powell Library did. They started an Instagram account and began posting pictures with information and questions in them. Their students were really interested, and the report gained a lot of popularity in a brief time.

In this article we will handle the decline in the number of economics degrees rewarded annually and if social networking sites can be used to increase this number.


New learning methods

A study found that traditional lecture methods like “chalk and talk” cause students to lose their interest in economics and the use of innovative teaching methods help students to achieve a better understanding of concepts used in economics. At this moment, economic education is experiencing a renewal of new creative teaching methods. And with the introduction of various technological advancements, this gets easier. A few examples of these new methods are; the use of literature, blogs, movies and short clips, informational television shows and most recently social networking sites. A few of these methods have shown to increase the understanding of economic concepts, stimulate more interest in the field, and provoke deeper retention of information.


Social networking sites as a learning method

Social networking sites as a pedagogical tool afford efficient and new ways for teachers to share ideas and information with their students. But should social networking sites be used as learning methods? Because the reason for integrating technology is usually based on the perceived need and ease of use for technology in classrooms. But is it really easier to integrate technology in classrooms? The learning process for using technology as learning methods is mostly time-consuming and takes a lot of effort from the teacher. However, the discipline of economics lack behind other subjects when looked at the implementation of instructional innovations. So it is evident to firstly look at the integration of technology in classrooms.

How would one use social networking sites as a learning tool? Social networking sites are virtual networks that allow people to interact with each other, share ideas and information, and develop communities on their own. There are various different social networking sites available to implement in the classroom and to use as learning methods, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

Facebook is a social networking site that allows people to create personal profiles and to become ‘friends’ with other people. You can communicate with these friends and share pictures, videos and links with each other through private messages and ‘status updates.’ People can also create groups, pages, events and invite other people to join these. On the other hand, you have Twitter. This is similar to Facebook in the way that you can ‘befriend’ other users by following them. With this social networking site, it is also possible to communicate with each other publicly or privately. At the same time, the biggest downside of Twitter is that the posts are limited to 140 characters of texts, which as a consequence limits the amount of information you can share in one post. This is where Instagram comes in. This social networking site allows people to share up to 10 pictures at a time and share videos that are up to 15 seconds long. A significant upside of Instagram is that the posts can simultaneously be shared on other social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. The benefit of this is that with one single post you can reach a wide audience without having to post the exact same position on the different social networking sites, which would be time-consuming. If you’re not very familiar with social media, you can check out this tutorial that will help you get started on creating your own accounts.

But how do students feel about the introduction of social networking sites in the classroom? The study’s found that one of the biggest concerns students have is that they are afraid that due to connecting with their faculty with their personal account, the faculty can view the content of their own accounts. So if social networking sites are to be introduced in classrooms, students may prefer a connection that only allows them to see the content shared by their faculty but not the other way around. This is possible with Instagram because you can turn your own profile on private and so be able to decide yourself who has access to your personal content and simultaneously be able to view the content posted by your faculty or teacher. This is also possible with Twitter but not with Facebook, which is a big downside looking from the eyes of students. So when you take the opinions of students into account, it would be a logical choice to either choose Twitter or Instagram as your primary social networking site for educational purposes.


The benefit of integrating social networking sites in learning methods

A study found that the integration of Twitter increases the accountability of students but is only valid when other forms of peer-to-peer communication are also used. This study also showed that the use of Twitter help students to feel more connected to peers in their class and improves course evaluations. It also increases the frequency of class discussions, encourages the students to listen more carefully, be more attentive and gather information themselves. Other social networking sites like Instagram also shown to increase retention levels. Another upside of Instagram is that it works with pictures, and studies have shown time after time that when you link text to an image people are more likely to remember it.


Instagram over Twitter

Instagram and Twitter are not so different from each other, both platforms have the same operational structure. The most significant difference is the kind of content that is shared on these social networking sites. Whereas on Twitter it is only possible to post text-related content on Instagram it is only possible to do the opposite, post picture and video related content. Twitter has another downside. Namely, you can just post up to 140 characters at a time, and with Instagram, you can post up to 10 pictures at a time. Besides that, Instagram has a lot more users than Twitter and a much more engaged community. Because of these reasons, we suggest you implement Instagram in the curriculum if you can’t decide between the two.