Application of Social Networking and Cloud-Based Services to Smart Education

Rotimi-Williams Bello, Jackson Akpojaro


SMART education also known as Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is the abbreviation for Self-directed, Motivated, Adaptive, Resource-enriched, and Technologies-embedded (SMART) education. This SMART education is not SMART device education, but rather an educational paradigm shift for digital natives. Social networking and cloud-based services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Slideshare, Office Web Apps, Sky Drive, Google Drive, Office 365 and many more promote students’ communication and collaboration skills which are important to the 21st century education. But many education institutions do not understand how germane the application of these technologies is to the classroom to promote students’ communication and collaboration skills which are important to the 21st century education. The only option left to face the challenges confronting the preparation and delivering of contents-rich academic curriculum in the 21st century by educators is the application of these technologies. The understanding of the use of these devices, applications, and services do not only help students know how to manage their abilities and careers for good purpose but assists educators as communication facilitator, collaboration coordinator, challenge promoter and mistake acceptor. Presented in this paper is application of social networking and cloud-based services to SMART education. Teaching/learning tools involving hardware and software technologies for SMART education were revealed to enhance classroom and outside classroom communication and collaboration. Findings show that students and educators were perplexed by the fact that they could use their mobile devices in the class for academic purpose because to them, smartphones are just for calling, texting, watching movies, listening to songs, playing games, and chatting. They realized the importance of social networking and cloud-based activities to their schoolwork.

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