Digital Health EducationSocial Media

Providing educators and healthcare workers tools to work remotely through the use of Social Media Platforms

Affiliations : The College of New Jersey

Journal reference: DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000945

Promoting lifelong learning is the goal for all higher education institutions. Modeling supporting behaviors of this guiding principle is the role of educators, preceptors, and mentors. The challenge in the digital age, including the time before the pandemic, is to streamline communication with students and foster their own professional accountability.  The isolation created by the pandemic has only increased our challenges and the demand for easy access to virtual resources.  Professional learning skills and critical thinking acquired through the nursing laboratory has been severely restricted due to remote learning limitations.  

The Learning Management platform within students’ core courses is often seen by the students as memorization work for evaluation, and consequently is not an effective communication tool. Utilizing social media as an interactive platform for resources and communication has proven effective in promoting ongoing learning in this environment. We share study tools and videos, promote open lab sessions, provide interactive review classes, and have skills demonstrations with many creative flavors. Students can post questions, tips, and share concerns in a critique free zone, as well as have a one stop shop for all the virtual nursing events and announcements that the nursing laboratory has to offer.  

For the students who have chosen to utilize this platform, the exchange of ideas and the ability to access resources has been well received.  Students are engaged and motivated to learn and they’ve shared they appreciate the variety of resources the social media page provides them. They have shared that the content reinforces topics introduced in class and fosters a space to freely discuss questions.

Social media provides the ability to support the various kinds and types of learners. Visual learning is supported through the use of video resources; audio learning is supported by listening to conversations or lectures; and kinesthetic learning is  supported through games or events that simulate a tactile environment. The use of games has been a way to support the development of critical thinking skills as well foster social engagement. These games can be educational, creative, and FUN!

If you are an educator looking for a new way to engage your students or a healthcare worker who needs a new way to  streamline communication, adopting social media as a platform is something you should consider. Take the time to research which platform works best for your individual goals. Each social media platform has different features that focus on different user experiences. Get creative. Think about how the students or your coworkers socialize with one another. Utilizing social media has been a great way to get students involved and is something they are likely comfortable with. Also, talk to them and ask for their input. Ask them what they need more or less of, what times work good for events, and what type of events they would be most interested in. The more you show them you want to help and engage them, the more involved they will be. 

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