Stepping Into The Future: Using Social Media In The Classroom By Malak Abdelnabi, Nada Gabra and Nour Assil

Facilitators Sherif Osman and Maha Bali begin the "social media in the classroom" workshop hosted by the Center for Learning and Teaching for faculty members. The workshop was for web-enhanced learning.

The facilitators introduce a platform for the attendees to connect on and generate discussions throughout the week called “Today’s Meet” which is a premier backchannel chat platform for classroom teachers and learners.

Photo by Malak Abdelnabi

Osman one of the workshop’s facilitators opening up the session by asking professors what social media is, the uses of social media and if professors use it in classrooms.

Photo by Nada Gabra

Professor Atta Gebril, associate professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics, sharing some of his experiences with the use of social media in the classroom.

Photo by Nada Gabra

Osman giving tips on “The Good Practices” of social media, what social media platforms professors use, the pros and cons of social media and the benefits of using such platforms in class.

Photo by Nour Assil

Attendees of the workshop listening carefully to what is being said about the different social media tools like Slack.

Photo by Nour Assil

Malak Abdelnabi Interviewing Laila El Baradei, professor of Public Administration and associate dean for graduate studies about social media.

Photo by Nour Assil

Stepping Into The Future: Using Social Media In The Classroom

Cairo, Egypt- The Center for Learning and Teaching held a series of workshops for faculty at the American University in Cairo. One of the workshops was called Social Media in the Classroom and was conducted by Maha Bali and Sherif Osman.

The workshop aimed at explaining to faculty members how they can enhance their teaching process by using different social media platforms. The talk started off with Osman asking the attendees whether or not they use social media in their classes.

One of the attendees, Laila El Baradei, professor of Public Administration and associate dean for graduate studies and research for the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) responded, “I use Facebook for example, and WhatsApp with my students but for extracurricular activities, and we share our reflections about the places that we visit.”

“In academia, the altmetrics for articles, instead of citing your citation, you can count how many people retweeted it for example,” said Bali while discussing with the attendees the possible advantages of social media in education.

The discussion went on to different aspects regarding social media. Such as, privacy issues. That was when a few of the attendees shared their own experiences, and concerns with privacy on social media.

Bali went on introducing the different platforms that exist to interact with students online. Platforms such as: Slack, Edmodo and Google Drive.

When asked about whether social media is making the learning process easier or more complicated, Osman said “I think it’s both. It’s definitely easier to facilitate communication and interaction between peers and instructors. But, I think it also raises some concerns because people are not familiar with social media privacy rules.”

At the end of the workshop, Bali turned to the students that were present and asked them what social media platforms they used and why. They talked about Snapchat and Instagram, and how social media platforms mentioned above can enhance the features of platforms used nowadays.

On hearing the students feedback and responses, one of the attendees assured that professors need to keep up with this younger generation, and to adapt their teaching techniques to the new and upcoming social media platforms.

The Center for Learning and Teaching hosts many types of workshop. Their aim is to enhance and to develop the teaching technique by embedding the social media in their classroom, in order to facilitate the learning process of students throughout their academic journey.

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