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Social Networking In Education

Written by:- Ms Manika Mahajan (PGDM 2019-21, IILM Greater Noida Campus)

Social networking has become one of the most popular communication tools to have evolved over the past decade, making it a powerful new information-sharing resource in society. In every aspect of our lives, social networking becomes a part of nowadays. Some of the widely used social networking sites(SNS) are Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, etc.

We cannot deny ever since social media came into our lives, it has changed the pattern of living- the way we socialize, interact, plan, or execute. Social networking has widely become a part of our education system now. Starting from elementary school up until university graduation, social media has the role to empower parents, students, and teachers on how to use new ways of sharing information and build a community. From finding a summer internship to promoting a success story about how to win the student-loan battle or collaborate on international projects, everything is made possible with these community-building sites. Collective intelligence has become a hashtag trending episode for today’s student-teacher relationship promoting collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Today’s youth is already well equipped with these sites and use this space for building a conducive learning environment and this gives educators a platform to create an online framework for education system #Education 4.0. Users are not just passive observers now, rather they became collaborators and contributors to new sites and fresh content across all platforms. The internet is a research network now which creates knowledge through shared experiences and collaboration of its users.

Chalk and Blackboard form the two most important elements of a classroom in our education system for decades. A teacher seems to be incomplete without these. Education 4.0 says “My lord, this statement is not true”. A teacher may ask its students “Discuss the Impact of covid19 on the Indian economy” on twitter by using two hashtags. Won’t it be a more innovative, up to date and interesting way for students to learn? There is always a complaint by parents “My son spends a lot of time on Facebook”, pondering on it Education 4.0 says “why not take Facebook as a source for learning?”. Facebook has many pages related to courses or areas of interest of students. Teachers and students can both join that page and debate on the posts in the comment section. Is it not helpful for collective intelligence? The answer is yes, it will help the student to be in touch with teachers and the latest updates in the mode they are comfortable at. In this way, they will learn and retain more.

The use of social media in education provides students with the ability to get more useful information, to connect with learning groups of their interest and other educational systems that make education convenient. Online classes on YouTube to web-based courses are helpful to create an anywhere- anytime learning environment for students. All it requires is the student’s own efforts to use these tools to learn beyond the classroom too. Social networking helps to reduce stress and increase satisfaction among students. It allows each student (slow or quick) to study at their own pace and speed (self-pacing). It helps in building strong teacher-student relationships as the student becomes more comfortable with interacting with teachers in both online and offline platforms. Allowing the use of technology and social networking sites in the classroom to read content and participate more is still not applicable in every school/college’s education system because of the fear that it would distract the student. And it is true in some cases but to focus on the purpose of using it in the desired way depends upon student’s willingness to learn and improve.

To hear some scholars speak we have-The use of social networking tools has impacted positively through creating diversification between different categories of people and has supported them in both their personal and academic lives . There are four fundamental social software tools: 1) Connectivity and social rapport, 2) Collaborate information discovery, 3) Content reaction, and 4) Knowledge and information aggregation and content modification . These affordances have helped learners access their knowledge easily and share them anytime and anywhere. Social networks, such as e-learning technologies, provide an opportunity for educators to revise their content quickly and maintain control over it, learn the sequence pace of learning, time – and often media, which allows them to gain experience to meet their learning objectives . Klamma illustrated that one of the most important advantages of social networking is the ability to manage knowledge and learning by connecting with different experts and knowledgeable people to share common processes, activities, tools, concepts, etc.

In today’s society, we face differences between Generation Y(the students who grew up using upgraded technology) and Generation X(the teachers who were forced to use this technology). Being a generation gap between the two brings forward different mindsets and perspectives. The famous author Blankenship,believes that technology in education should be focused on what students use instead of what the school or teachers want. He also believes that when the students become the stakeholder, it will be geared towards their needs, avoiding the need for collaboration between different generations of educators and students. Social networking becomes a medium for such integration. There may be certain training and time required for teachers and students to get well equipped with this new education system, but once applied the efforts are worth it.

Social networking in education also proves to be a good medium in times of emergency. The best example is the current scenario of the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world. The situation has forced us to stay home but it didn’t force us to stop learning. Social networking sites became the medium to study far from institutions too. It helped teachers and students to stay connected and complete their studies and even learn more than the school/college curriculum. Live online lectures, recorded online video classes, new online courses, online assignments and projects have helped students and educators to not let the studies and careers of students get harmed in these tough times.

Some may highlight the cons of social networking by saying it can be a reason for the distraction of students, privacy, and security issues are there, internet connectivity may be a challenge at remote locations, etc. To some extent their concerns are right. But with the improvement in technology day by day strict privacy and security are being taken in making the applications more safe and secure. And as far as the distraction of students is concerned, educators should channelize student’s skills and energy in a more productive way that they tend not to be distracted. They can be given challenging tasks from their area of interest and the online/offline platform they are comfortable at to prove their worth and can be equally appreciated and awarded for their performance. This will build up their morale and boost enthusiasm.

Student interaction is at the core of a constructive environment and Social  Networking Sites provide a platform for building collaborative learning communities.  By their very nature, they are relationship-centred and promote shared experiences. A range of activities should be inculcated in the education system where students get to interact more and gain experiences. Knowledge and shared experiences become a base for students to develop and social networking is the channel for building that base. Both students and educators have to understand that social networking is not merely a leisure facility but it is much more than that. They should find out the deep potential which this facility holds so that it can be used in the best and most productive way possible. And this has to be done now because we are rapidly moving to a fully digital era and this potential is to be used now to be a helpful tool for the future years. At IILM campus, we have such networking amongst students, alumni and professors through various virtual networking applications. Thus, Education 4.0 is the superman for the youth of today. If its powers are well researched and presented to students and teachers, they are going to be the biggest fan of it.

INDIA – AN OPPORUNITY IN CHALLENGE

Blogpost By:- Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR), sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

Ongoing pandemic has changed our world in many terms. The community of nations has come to realize, how vulnerable it is to a crisis like COVID 19. Despite having all the economic muscle, robust industrial ecosystem and military might, the powerful and mighty countries are found helpless and they are forced to have a rethink about their capabilities. This crisis has blurred the stereotype distinction between developed, developing and non-performing economies. Needless to say here, India is not left untouched by the impact of COVID 19. A country which was on its way to address the core problems like basic education, health for all, raising farming income, rural infrastructure and employment generation has been distracted from its path.

As the old adage says, there is an opportunity in every crisis. India is given a chance to remodel its policies and strategy about developing its huge human resources. A population of 1.35 billion with over 65% under the age of 35 is wealth in real tangible terms. If we take our lessons well from history, we find that Europe rose from the ashes after the Second World War. Japan became an economic powerhouse after nuclear destruction and South Korea joined the club of the developed world.

This pandemic has provided a window to us for raising the quality of our educational institutions who are preparing our students in the fields of scientific research, engineering, medicine, agriculture and management as these are the core areas where a lot of qualitative changes has come and still yet to come. If India desires to be counted amongst the nations having a world-class workforce, this is the time for a serious re-look at our education sector. Best of our students get admission in the premier colleges and universities across the globe and this is a testament to their mettle.

The demand for domain experts will give birth to a whole new class for employment. Students from engineering, medicine, manufacturing and management sectors will have immense opportunities as both government and private sector employers will be willing to pay better remuneration to the aptly skilled manpower.

India can only go upwards from this level of economic health in every sphere. It will be logically correct to say that a whole generation of working professional shall be rendered useless when faced with the new, demanding technological advancement in every field. Revolutionary up gradation in skillset will be the key to success for growth and survival. A very promising future awaits the management students, equipped with the right kind of knowledge and specialization. Next three decades and going to be the growth period for service and manufacturing sectors in India and resultantly the country will become a big employer.

Since 1993, IILM is contributing to India’s growth story by providing responsible education across its 6 campuses with a global alumni network of over 12,000+ members. Today, after 25 years of its inception, IILM has been delivering superior quality education consistently and incessantly. The IILM ethos is focused on identifying and nurturing the next generation of thought leaders through intuitive education and experimental learning.

Written By:-

Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR)

sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

Nurturing Brand Communities

Humans, since time immemorial, have believed in the idea of community. Evolutionarily, early men lived together in caves in groups; from the hunting of wild to staying in groups helped them protect themselves from the attacks in the night. Even today, on one side the families are becoming smaller and nuclear, people still sought out for approvals from families and friends in any important decision making, be it a marriage proposal to style to buying anything expensive, everything in us is borrowed and is further, lent.

This article is about how brands can shape, nurture, and mature indispensable communities, the kind of communities that offer worth impossible to capture anywhere else.

Any indispensable brand community are built on four pillars

  1. Members motivations for valuable contribution
  2. Define what engagement you want to create for your prospects
  3. The balance between what as a brand we want to achieve versus what members in the community want
  4. Make it easy for people to communicate with you. Communication = community

Member’s motivations for valuable contribution

What’s interesting about humans is that they cannot do without society and cannot do with society. We need our own space and despise the interference of others but we also need people to comfort us, care for us, talk and work with us and socialize with us. Even while making any decision or coming to a conclusion, we take into consideration the viewpoint of others. No matter how small or big the decision is, we have a reference group that we get in touch with and who influence our choices.

The reference group can be brand advocates, consumers who are motivated enough by the initial purchases that they ascended in the consumer journey to buy more or brands spokesperson themselves. The best place to start a brand community is by using company customer database and ranking them on their purchases. A consumer who had been buying for long and has been spending more can be taken as the master communicator in the community. A brand needs to be trying to turn members into allies by supporting them through their consumer journey of awareness, first purchase, engage, excite, repeat purchases, advocate, and promote. The best communities get their members to advocate, lead, learn, provide insights, educate others, support, and stand up for the brand when it is hit by negative commentaries.

Many renowned business schools are creating such communities in the form of clubs. For example, the IILM Graduate School of Management has over 30 offline traditional and online communities. From traditional clubs like sports and cultural clubs to more modern new age clubs like movies, digital marketing, economics, HR, and simulation clubs that connect with the students beyond classroom hours to make them learn class concepts through real-time practice and engage them more meaningfully.

Do visit IILM Graduate School of Management Facebook page (https://bit.ly/2Ywev2N) and site(http://www.iilmgsm.ac.in/) to know more about the communities inside the campus.

Define what engagement you want to create for your prospects

Every community has its own innate needs for engagement. Be it a small non-formal what’s app community of school friends or formal brand or consumer-driven social network sites like Facebook or LinkedIn communities. The innate needs of each community are so distinctive that brand engagement in each of these communities needs to be planned accordingly. Many of these consumer communities are an easy escape from the mundane impact of culture and society to follow one’s individual preferences and brands need to find these distinctive needs and position themselves strongly there. For example, in the climactic scene of the popular 2010 film, Sex and the City, the protagonist Carrie Bradshaw and her group of friends find themselves surrounded by many middle-eastern women who have kept themselves covered but they reveal they love New York and the fashion. They show their latest wardrobe which is the latest Spring Collection but keep this just among themselves as this won’t be accepted in their community. But again, these women have this close-knit community of theirs where their preferences and choices survive amongst themselves. Imagine brands like Victoria Secret, Rent the Runway, Rebag and MM.LaFleur could have got these middle-eastern women in their communities.

The balance between what as a brand we want to achieve versus what members in the community want

In 2009, the HBR published the famous story of the Harley Davidson Owners group. In the early 1980s, the besieged motorcycle company built a powerful network of Harley Davidson owners across America. This turned the company from the rim of insolvency into a company worth $7.8 bn.

Many times community members divulge into jokes and irrelevant issues over valuable content. Such communities fall from the ladder of valuable contributions and they find it very hard to climb back. Brands need to understand that the communities need to be driven towards a common purpose: The purpose of brand building, introducing new products or addressing issues.

So companies must try to find the following regularly.

  • How many community members are advocating and attracting new consumers
  • Are members buying more as a result of the community
  • Are members generating useful product ideas
  • Is the community solving other members product-driven issues
  • Is the sales increasing because of the advocates in the community
  • What is the ROI on driving such communities

Make it easy for people to communicate with you. Communication= community

Studies show consumers value human-like communication from brands.  Research shows that 57% of consumers have increased brand loyalty for the brand that shows humanistic behaviour (Andrew,2018).

Communication is the basis of all that a brand does, which means you need to make it easy for your followers to talk to you. At the same time, how a brand communicates on each networking channel needs to be different. The way you communicate on Facebook will evoke a different response if you tried the same method on Twitter. So it is important for brands that they are present in the desired network community sites where their segment audience is. Right from question stickers to stories all add up to drive a thriving community.

Though day by day we are turning inwards and maybe, introspecting ourselves, still we are by nature social and we like to have a sense of belongingness. Honestly, we wouldn’t even have realized it till now and now, there’s no better time than this when isolation from the community has started to look like a challenge and have started instilling  fear in us: fear of oblivion

References

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/20/study-shows-consumers-value-human-communication-brands

Authors:

Dr Sumanjit Dass

( Asst. Professor Marketing)

IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida

Ms Medha Ghosh

(Management student of IILM GSM, PGDM Batch 2019-21)