Published on: 07-Oct-2020
Given annually as part of the John Cheung Endowment
Fund (Social Media for Teaching and
Learning), the Award recognises exemplary and innovative use of
social media by faculty in their teaching practices. Candidates are nominated
by the respective Colleges and Schools in Nanyang Technological University,
Singapore (NTU Singapore) and decided by a judging panel.
Associate Professor Georgios Christopoulos
Associate Professor Georgios has been using social media well before the current COVID-19 situation. Among the many benefits of using social media, there were two main reasons that attracted him – the first being the need to improve digital citizenship so that students can learn how to discuss and debate in social media platforms; while the second and most important reason was the need to promote "cognitive and personality diversity".
Cognitive diversity means to promote all types of thinking. "Classroom teaching favors quick (within seconds) or relatively quick (within minutes) judgments and answers. However, we want students to also learn to deliberate on problems, over days or even weeks," said Associate Professor Georgios.
Personality diversity, on the other hand, provides students who are introverted or less outspoken the opportunity to express their ideas and social forums are an excellent platform for this to happen.
Associate Professor Georgios shared how he used "cognitive diversity" in his teaching, "I will give my students a question in class, and then ask them to deliberate and discuss on this or a similar topic in the forum. This allows for different cognitive mechanisms to emerge. It is interesting to observe students, the evolution of their ideas, thinking and eventually opinions depending on the medium and the timescales. Social media also helps students close the learning loop by teaching each other. Often, students bring up ideas, theories and real-life examples that I was unaware of. This exchange of ideas not only helps the other students, it also improves my content and teaching."
Associate Professor Georgios foresees that the use of social media in teaching will become more prevalent. "Nowadays, because of COVID-19, we are adopting an increasing number of social media platforms. I am now exploring Telegram."
And he is not stopping there. "We should be exploring more futuristic options – the first intriguing possibility involves Virtual and Augmented Reality tools which I believe will bring digital teaching to another level. The second is the employment of A.I. in teaching and an initial implementation will be chatbots. The future is bright," shared Associate Professor Georgios.
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