Facebook helping tutors to reach students

THE NORTHERN College’s use of social media as a way of helping students to learn has been praised by inspectors.

It has taken part in a national research program to apply social media to learning supported by the Education Foundation.

As part of this, teachers at the Northern College have been using Facebook as a way of maintaining contact with students when they are not in the classroom.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The site has been used to share articles, journals and videos to help the Northern College students with their studies and also to build a community of people who have been to the college to help support current students.

Teacher Lou Mycroft said: “Using Facebook has been a really effective way of keeping students engaged and reaching out to them when they are not here. There is never lots of funding available to the college and the great thing about Facebook is that we have been able to use a resource that is free.”

She said all of the students involved had embraced the idea of using social media to help them learn.

Ofsted said: “Tutors make exceptionally good use of interactive learning technologies and social media to help students learn.”

Ian Fordham, the co-founder at The Education Foundation, said: “In the past year we’ve worked with schools up and down the country to explore how Facebook can benefit learning, engagement and communication in schools, colleges and universities.”

He said sections within Facebook such as groups had the potential to change the way teachers share knowledge with their students and how students talk to each other about their work.

Simon Milner, policy director at Facebook, said: “Facebook can help us learn things. We’re pleased to have seen the positive impact Facebook has had on Northern College, and look forward to supporting teachers and educators across the country with practical advice on using social learning tools in their own schools, colleges and universities.”