Social Media, News, and EdTech Research
By Yvonne Macias
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc
According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of Americans get their news from social media. Additionally, 21% of people get their news from social media because it is convenient. With these statistics, it is safe to say that social media is a new medium that is revolutionizing how we share and access information.
During my time at Effective to Great Education, I, Yvonne Macias, a senior studying Public Health at Claremont McKenna College, have created/worked on an article database to collect resources on mental health and history for the Latinx community. I have found many fantastic resources, including the one linked here that lists Instagram handles for therapists and mental health professionals, as well as influencers that post content about Latinx mental health.
In one of my first conversations at ETGE, we discussed the role that social media plays in the sharing of news and information with people in older and younger generations. Undoubtedly, the way information is presented to both communities is different and may also vary based on platform, but no matter what, social media has expanded everyone’s access to information, discourse, and differing opinions on important issues. Conversational and casual sharing on social media can help reduce the burden of having to conduct individual research and read through an entire article to find the highlights, as most posts usually have a key quote or data point and link a different article for further reading.
However, there must be precautions for this. According to the Forbes article, How Social Media Has Changed How We Consume News, Nicole Martin highlights that the algorithms of social media make it so items that are highly liked and shared are those that are more shown. However, this makes the articles that are most “eye-catching” and “often exaggerated” to be seen most. This is often fake news. Therefore, it is important to take this lesson and tailor information to be more clear within the posts themselves. Social media platforms should be utilized to capture audiences and allow people to take in all information at once.
Education Technology Research Organizations use social media platforms to share information and inform audiences on causes they are passionate about and working on. The key insights highlighted throughout this blog can help ETGE best maximize the use of the Bud to Blossom platform to engage both general and narrowed audiences, such as school administrators.