Matt's Corner

 

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Social media has evolved into a major communication tool with tweets and posts linking students in seconds. Social media supporters believe that the rise in its use by students beyond social relations is helpful, while others argue the opposite. So the question to explore is: Does social media help students?
 
Studies done by researchers at Michigan State University have concluded that students who have almost little to no experience with the college application process have shown to uncover the information they need through social media. The results of the study also concluded that the students who were applying to college who needed help with the process found most of their answers by looking them up on social media venues. Students also used Facebook to contact current students at the colleges they were applying to in order to get a better understanding of what the life of a student is like. With social media chiming in at moments like these, it shows how useful it has become beyond the point of entertainment and that it is also becoming an important part of our lives.
 
What can be learned from the social media explosion is that it is important that whenever a new phenomenon sweeps through our society, we consider it from all sides. Since social media rooted itself in our society we have acknowledged its downsides. However, over recent years, society as a whole has found ways to incorporate social media so that it is more useful and beneficial, rather than distracting and distasteful.
 
So, if social media can help students attain more information on the college application process as shown in the Michigan State study, then it stands to reason that it can continue to help students throughout the college years. Do you agree with this? How else have you seen social media exhibit positive outcomes in college or university life?
A brief introduction
 
It's a normal afternoon for college students. They sit down at a lunch table with their friends after class to get something to eat and catch up with each other. Given that it is 2013, their conversation could go anywhere. However, chances are that at some point or another, some aspect of social media will be brought up. Whether it's "Oh, did you see who Tweeted this?" or "Hey, did you see what she wrote on Facebook?". The truth is, this is the new norm.
 
In this day and age social media has become a part of our culture, so much so, that it's considered a social norm, used by anyone for any reason. With the growth of technology, even over the past few years, social media has found countless platforms to allow its users to immerse themselves in a vast network of online news, blogs, social interactions, and countless other venues. Since the dawn of social media, it has evolved into a primary method of communicating, getting our news, and promoting a culture dominated by technology and the Internet. When considering these facts, one can't help but stop and think how this might be affecting higher education and what impact it has had on students and the institution itself?
 
From my perspective, social media has taken over higher education in many ways, none of which I would say is negative, as social media is now being used by faculty and staff just as frequently as students. All across college campuses throughout the country, social media is becoming an integral part of day-today life for the entire campus community. . Just in the past three years that I have been in college, I have seen social media everywhere I go. Nearly every club and organization at Anna Maria College uses some form of social media to market their club, communicate between club members, and reach out to other students, as well as advertise for their events. Social media is even evident on the professional level just as much as it is on the student level. The admissionteam relies on the benefits of social media to help them connect with prospective students, as well as share the wealth of information about the School. Just on the admission page alone incoming freshmen can find links to pages on the Anna Maria website that directly brings them to their point of interest, whetherr one is looking for residence life, student activities, how to deposit, or even how to find email addresses to talk to admission councilors or faculty members. Students can also find Anna Maria on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram, as well as Linkedin.
 
This is just a small example of how social media has found itself at the center of higher education. I hope to discuss more about this in my next blog...

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For my final blog post, I would like to point out the most important thing students need to remember in college...it’s your education! Students need to be comfortable and assertive in communicating what they want to get out of their college experience with their professors. And faculty should continue to strive to provide the resources necessary to let students flourish in their academics.

As a junior at Anna Maria College, I take pride in knowing that the College I go to is full of resources that will help me learn what I need to know, and the biggest resource of all is the faculty. They provide the knowledge and the tools AMC students need to thrive...students just need to let them know that’s exactly what they are in college to do.

Have a great holiday season and thanks for sharing this experience with me.

Anna Maria College is blessed to have an amazing faculty that is dedicated to the values of education and helping students. Our professors can almost always be seen with an open door to their office when they are not in the classroom. Every time I walk down the halls and past faculty offices I see at least a couple of professors meeting with students trying to give them the extra help they might need for the class or possibly just meeting to make sure they are both on the same page.

Meeting with faculty is important because the classroom is not the only time place your professor can help you. Often, it’s during office hours that you can really talk with your professors about what’s going on in class or about something you need help with. Any questions that can’t be asked in class because there might not be enough time or you’re not comfortable asking in class, can be asked during these office hours. One-on-one time can be very helpful for students, as well as professors, and can aid in the professor-student relationship. I encourage all students not to ignore their professors’ office hours!

Another great thing about Anna Maria College is that it is a small campus so it is a common occurrence to see professors walking around campus. Also, because we don’t have a large campus, it’s easier to talk to a professor casually either to get to know each other better or to set up a time to meet more formally.

Remember that professors are there for you; they are your most valuable resource, after all, they are the ones teaching you everything you need to know!

            Professors, do your students utilize your office hours frequently?

            Students, do your professors' office hours help you?

One advantage of being at a smaller institution is being able to develop a good form of communication between you and your professor. My advisor, who is also the primary professor for my major of media communications has made a huge impact on my college life here at AMC. For my first two years, I had the pleasure of having him one to three times a semester, as well as for my advisor. This semester, although I don't have any classes with him, I still make sure that we stay in touch whether through email or by stopping by his office during free time to speak with him about what’s going on with my life, classes, and internship.

The more you tell your professors and advisors, the more they will know about you and the more they can help you. For instance, if you are failing a class and for some reason your advisor did not know yet and you didn’t tell him/her quick enough, by the time s/he finds out, it might be too late to sign up for that class again and/or it may interfere with future scheduling.

Being on a small campus like AMC, it’s very easy to speak with your advisor and  professors frequently.

Have you ever had a good experience because you kept good communication with your professor/advisor?