Is social media a tool for education?

First, we were using social media for connection and news. And then it became a hub for so many other things;

  • Sharing an insight into our lives with photo and video
  • A place to dump the thoughts in our head 
  • Discovering new brands and products 
  • Entertainment 
  • Somewhere to buy products directly from a post 

And more recently, a search engine. But a new function of social media – that has been steadily growing for a while now – is establishing itself as a fully-fledged and respected function. Education. 

Do social media and education really mix???

Educational content has been around for years and years, but it feels like an almost passive part of social media achieved through reading news or updates. Well, that’s all about to change (we hope).

With social media platforms now being used and seen as search engines for users to learn about and discover new things, it makes sense that education as a whole will start filtering through these platforms in their own app feature sections. 

Who’s doing it?

Innovative leader, TikTok, is one of the first platforms to adapt and enhance the way of using social media for education, by rolling out a new feature that will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 

The new in-app feature will include a STEM Feed that will focus on content focused on STEM topics.

TikTok said:

“Education-based communities already thrive across TikTok. In fact, STEM-related hashtags have received over 110 billion views to date, connecting a dynamic community of people over shared interests. We’ve designed the STEM feed to serve as a destination for those looking to dive into these enriching topics further. Whether encouraging aspiring scientists to work out experiments in comments sections or helping a new programmer learn to code, the STEM feed provides a space for co-learning, inspiration, and enrichment.”

Where is it being rolled out?

As explained by TikTok, the STEM feed is still in its early days but is expected to roll out to US communities soon. Could this be a strategic move to try and sway US regulators against banning TikTok? We certainly think so.

What could the STEM Feed mean for social media in the future?

There’s a likelihood that the STEM Feed will be launched in the UK and other markets (I hope so because I’d personally be all over it!), and there’s also a strong chance that its success could prompt other social media platforms to follow suit… Meta, I’m looking at you.

The STEM Feed might not just affect other social media platforms though; there is a wealth of potential benefits and possibilities to be had:

  • More accessible learning for STEM
  • Entertaining and interesting ways of learning
  • Opportunity to watch, engage and learn directly from the experts
  • Increased interest and opportunity for young people – especially young women – to get involved with STEM (a growing number, but still heavily under-represented compared to men in the field).

Personally, I can’t wait for it.

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