Social media used to connect

Social media, to most people, is a way to stay in contact with family and friends. But recently, professors at Los Medanos College have been using the Internet to connect with their students in game changing ways.

“There are no district wide policies regarding the use of social media, but by using different forms of communication tools it provides significant avenues of student engagement,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil. “Maintaining good communication with students, providing them with information about assignments and changes in materials, and keeping the student informed about progress all are important elements to student success.”

While LMC has provided methods of communication for both professors and students, like email addresses and websites including Desire2Learn, these forms of communication between the two parties felt very formal and were often underutilized. Students stopped asking questions, which led to confusion in the classroom and assignments. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped strengthen conversations among professors and students.

“I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” said professor Scott Warfe who uses social media to inform his students of upcoming assignments, quizzes and tests. “ I don’t get a lot of messages on Twitter, though. Most students send me messages through Facebook.”

Students do not need an account on Twitter or Facebook in order to access the content a professor posts, which adds to the allure of using social media in a productive manner.

“I don’t have a Twitter account,” said student Hannah Fournier, “but when I have a question, I’ll send my teacher a message from my sister’s profile. I just make sure to say who it is from.”

Professors, including Warfe, who use social media as a teaching tool make sure to tell their students that the social media information given out in class, is the correct information and is where they can be contacted.

“I have separate accounts on each site, one personal and one for my students,” added Warfe. “I feel like there is an image of a professor that should be upheld.”