PrepPath: Using Social Media to Teach Adults

Posted by on October 9th, 2018

Social media is a big part of the lives of most people today. It’s not just for kids. Adults are engaged on social media. For many it’s where they communicate with family and friends and get their news. With access to social media so widely available thanks to smartphones, using social media in adult education is a key way to engage with students and help them learn in environments they are already used to.  

Teachers can harness the aspects of social media that best lend themselves to learning and have their adult learners discover how far social media can take them.  


Discussion and Communication

By using Twitter and Facebook amongst other platforms can create discussion groups or discussion hashtags to encourage students to continue their classroom work outside on social media. This will allow adult learners to continue to engage and think on learning points and have a place to instantly connect with their classmates and teacher, as they come up with new thoughts and questions. This encourages and implements a form of mobile learning.  Adult students will discover how the learning never has to stop and education is constant thanks to social media.


Online Networking

Social media networks such as Linkedin are places to network for career opportunities. For many adult learners, improving their jobs or work expectations is part of why they have returned to the classroom. Teachers can help their students be ready for new opportunities by guiding them to learn the facets of networking tools like this.  It can prompt lessons on creating resumes, cover letters and how to properly reach out to prospective employers. It’s also an opportunity to teach social branding, where adult learners can discover how their social media presence can be tied to their personal expectations for where they want their careers to go.


Social Networks for Research

Teachers can guide their students to discover how to cull the information from social media outlets and use it for research in their school projects. Social Networks provide unlimited sources of information, but it needs to be vetted and used appropriately when supporting an argument.  Adult learners can learn how to fact check tweets or posts and follow the line of discussion to its sources, and learn how to best maneuver through the landscape where misinformation is rampant. It will prepare them to be savvy in their own social media use outside of school, as well as how to best use these tools for success in furthering their education.  

What are some ways you use social media to teach adult learners? Share your thoughts on social media and be part of the process.    


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