By Shreyash Srivastava
As technology advances, a plethora of applications to run on it have evolved. Concurrently, social media usage has skyrocketed, particularly among students. Social media has sparked a range of reactions. Some think that it can benefit students, while others argue that it can be a distraction. In this article, we will investigate an important question: How does social media affect STEM education? Does it make it more difficult or more accessible?
The benefits of social media:
1. Social media can help students conduct research and surveys, gather information through posts, and learn about advancements and updates in the STEM field from time to time, enriching their knowledge.
2. Social media helps a student maintain connections with their like-minded peers from around the world who have knowledge and are developed in STEM curriculum and can assist the students in their learning route.
3. Social media can also work to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. By seeing STEM professionals who are the same race, religion, gender, etc. as that student, students may be more likely to continue on the STEM path through college.
The drawbacks of social media:
1. Social media is frequently misused, becoming a platform for cyberbullying, a harmful act that can significantly undermine a student's motivation and emotional well-being. Such bad experiences have the potential to dishearten and demoralize kids, thereby impacting their mental health and academic performance.
2. Distraction is one of the most obvious disadvantages of social networking. Students may struggle to keep attention on their STEM studies if social and entertainment alerts are present in the same digital space as academic content. This distraction may impair their capacity to successfully absorb and engage with course materials, potentially jeopardizing their academic performance.
3. Students' traditional face-to-face and even online social skills may worsen as their use of social media increases. The intricacies of in-person communication, such as body
language interpretation are frequently lost in digital interactions. This reduction in
personal communication ability can have a negative impact on their collaboration,
teamwork, and interpersonal skills—all of which are important in STEM disciplines
where cooperation is required.
4. Students may be exposed to a wide range of inappropriate content. These exposures have the potential to harm a pupil's psychological and emotional development, which can have a negative impact on their overall well-being. The existence of such content on social media may accidentally desensitize kids to these potentially dangerous items, thereby impairing their ethical and moral judgment, which is required for responsible behavior in STEM subjects.
To answer the question of whether social media makes STEM studies simpler or more difficult, it is evident that this double-edged sword has the capacity to both help and hinder students in their academic journeys. While it provides kids with access to a wealth of information and chances for cooperation, it may also distract, erode social skills, and expose them to unsuitable content. The goal is to utilize social media responsibly and mindfully. It can be a powerful ally, but its influence is ultimately determined by how the students use it. When used appropriately, it has the potential to improve STEM education. An uncontrolled approach, on the other hand, may have the opposite impact. As a result, it is up to each student to navigate the digital landscape, weighing the pros and drawbacks to ensure a favorable impact on their STEM studies.
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