Education and Technology

How is social media affecting education?
Answered by Rob Wrubel and Ron Gdovic PhD
  • Rob Wrubel

    Rob Wrubel

  • Ron Gdovic PhD

    Ron Gdovic PhD

  1. Rob Wrubel Chief Marketing & Product Development Officer, Apollo Group


    I think it's the absolute key to education. And the reason is that when we think of social, I look at the world and say there are learners, people who are looking to learn something. And there are teachers. And sometimes there's people who do both in conjunction with each other. There are millions of people in this country alone who have expertise and knowledge and skills, who are sitting in some phase of either forced retirement, retirement, not working, or maybe working very fruitfully but have a lot more hours and a lot more desire to give back.

    You've got lots of students and lots of people who need skills, basic understanding of how to think, get things done, and move themselves through an industry and find their way to a place where they're productive and happy. When you have a social media platform like we have now, built with the Internet -- it's not just an information exchange or a commercial transactional exchange but a social networking platform -- you can now bring human beings together, teachers and learners, in a marketplace where you can allow them to find each other out and begin to find ways to get learning and insights that motivate someone to a new place and a new destiny.

    So I think it's one of the critical things we wrestle with. How do we get the best teachers in front of the students who need them the most? Well, if you have a social media platform, there's probably 20 times the number of teachers or would-be teachers with something to share. They just weren't called teachers because they weren't in that high school. And the students who would be able to learn from them might be the guy sitting there watching a funny Internet television show. So I think that social media's going to unleash a huge intellectual potential that we have sitting, that's all been resting there. We just haven't really realized it by stitching that network together.

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  2. Ron Gdovic PhD IT Entrepreneur & University of Phoenix Faculty Member


    With social media, students are not only just recipients of information, but they're becoming their own publishers of information. There are very few younger students out there who haven't developed their own blog or don't have their own Twitter account or Facebook account. They've gone from consumers of information to publishers of information, and we are still trying to figure out in the educational environment how to best use that technology.

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