Modern technologies reveal new ways for enhancing the process of studying. With the growth of the web, all borders disappeared. Today students from different countries can share their experience, exchange their opinions, and discuss hot issues using their smartphones. The times when a smartphone or a laptop was used for having fun only are left behind. Now every student can get the same benefits from using messengers like from traditional in-class activities.
As communication is an integral part of a studying process, social apps can be used as a tool to implement online communication into the life of the student. In this article, we will talk about 5 the most effective ways of using WhatsApp in electronic education. If you are interested in how other social network tools can facilitate the studying process, we recommend that you read this article about incorporating Twitter into the education process.
- Open discussions
WhatsApp allows creating group conversations where every student can freely express his opinion on any subject. To get students involved in the process of studying beyond college or university walls, WhatsApp group chats are the most effective tool. Of course, the topic of the group conversation should be interesting for all participants. Social awareness issues can create an open discussion leaving space for personal opinions, facts and researches, and further discussion in class.
Perhaps the most difficult thing in an open discussion is to find a person who will regulate it and notice when some conflicts appear. This difficulty can be overcome with inviting a professor to a discussion.
Tips: create a topic for each conversation. Set a rule that in this particular group chat you should stick to this topic and do not discuss personal problems or some unrelated issues.
To make education process interesting and more effective, professors and teachers use multiple formats for presenting some pieces of information. Just a few decades ago students could use only printed books, magazines, and newspapers to find information. Radio and TV still were not available for everyone, so even audio and video materials were out of free access. However, today we have all these options, and all of them can be implemented in WhatsApp. Students can make video researches and share them with their friends on WhatsApp, make photos of interesting information, or present some ideas.
Multiple formats make the discussion more vivid and increase the engagement of the participants. Besides, sometimes it is easier to show something than to explain it in words.
Tips: if you are practicing foreign languages, add audio format posts to the conversation. That will help you reduce a language barrier and help you check pronunciation mistakes.
WhatsApp has shown its effectiveness with the increase of students’ responsiveness. Perhaps, you have noticed that when someone presents his project in a classroom, most students do not pay attention to the speaker. But modern students have got used to paying attention to what is going on in the Internet. They will read or watch any received messages. This psychological trick can be used to increase the responsiveness of the students.
Besides, when you see a message, you want to answer it. In education, communication and discussions can bring a student to some unexpected discoveries. And when a student makes these discovering with the help of his friends, they are even more precious to him.
Tips: each member of your conversation should be active. If there are some people who never send messages and never react to what other people do, it is better to talk to them and find out whether they are interested in the topic of conversation.
A proper education teaches us how to use all knowledge in a real situation and how to combine knowledge of physics with knowledge of biology in real life. It is hardly possible to mix up different sciences in class, but you can do that with your friends using WhatsApp.
Tips: cross-science is perfect for studying foreign languages. If you want to increase your vocabulary in some selected field, create a conversation about some physics issues in the language you study. In this way, you will master the language and comprehension of a subject. If you are interested in learning foreign languages using applications, check this article.
Another psychological trick that can be used with incorporating WhatsApp into education is informal learning. Mostly, people learn things better not when they read or hear information, but when they discuss it with their friends. That is why we remember the names of TV characters better than we remember the names of the reign of our country. Adding informal studying aspect, the engagement of the students will increase. When they are not limited by some social norms of behavior established in school, college or university, they feel free and confident. They start to discuss issues which they would never discuss in front of a professor.
Using WhatsApp in the process of education is a good idea to get students involved into researches and studying. They get interested in the subject and start to make some efforts to enhance their knowledge. Their communication skill becomes better and they become more aware of how they impress their thoughts and how they analyze received information.