As the South African National Senior Certificate exams are set to start in two weeks, matriculants can use social media to achieve better academic results.
This is according to the Independent Institute of Education’s Senior Head of Programme Wonga Ntshinga.
Ntshinga was exploring ways social media could be used for more than just fun.
He suggested that platforms such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, if used appropriately, could boost matric results.
NMMU’s head of the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit, Prof Werner Olivier said digital media is aligned with Grade 12 pupils and that the formal way of teaching needed assistance.
Platforms such as WhatsApp messenger can be used to form study groups where pupils can discuss study material and questions on particular exam papers, Ntshinga said.
“WhatsApp allows users to send each other unlimited images, videos and audio messages.”
Ntshinga said that matriculants can create videos of how to solve Mathematics or Physical Science equations and share them.
Youtube, on the other hand, can be used to search for Grade 12 tutorial videos.
However, Ntshinga said pupils should be cautioned by their teachers, parents and guardians to avoid coming across inappropriate content.
Facebook can also be useful, he said.
Similar with WhatsApp, Facebook can be used to share possible questions that can come up in the examination papers.
“[They] can use the group to post previous question papers. Each time your peers post important subject matter you will get a notification.”
Ntshinga, however, said it was important to mute notifications while studying.
On Twitter, he said the matriculants can follow interesting topics and users.
“For example, if you search #biology, you are presented with user @Molecular who tweets about the latest news, research, books and journals in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics and stem cells.”
Olivier said that social media can assist with “independent and corroborative learning”.
“Pupils will not be too dependent on information received in class, they will also conceptualise the information with peers,” Olivier said.
He said: “They can conceptualise what happened in the classroom and what did not happen in the classroom.”
Olivier, however, said that media resources at schools are not always accessible and that their availability would assist in the most challenging subjects – mathematics, physical science and accounting.