Mobile devices, especially smartphones specifically the case of WhatsApp, are replacing laptops to the point that students of any class can access online lessons immediately, without relying on a computer at home or on the premises. computer lab. Learning effectiveness and efficiency can be as good as infrastructure or facilities to support conventional learning innovation. Thus, e-learning can bridge the application of online social networks with offline learning, thus giving rise to Blended Learning. We are talking about blended learning efforts to integrate learning technologies in order to improve the quality of student learning.
Social Networks and Learning
The development of social networks has occurred so rapidly that they have affected the development of learning. One form of the learning variation is to implement electronic-based learning, or better known as e-learning. The applications that have been widely used have been the messaging application that is used to communicate synchronously. With the advantages of social networking applications, especially instant messaging used as a means of learning to improve its quality to position itself as a means of discussion. One of the most used social media applications on smartphones is WhatsApp. This is a communication tool that also serves as a news disseminator, among other uses.
What is Whatsapp?
WhatsApp is a free downloadable messaging application for smartphones. WhatsApp uses the Internet to send messages, images, audio or video. The service is very similar to text messaging services, however, because WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages, the cost of using WhatsApp is significantly less than text messages. You can also use WhatsApp on desktop, simply by going to WhatsApp website and downloading it on Mac or Windows. It is popular with teenagers due to features like group chat, voice messages, and location sharing.
WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009 after leaving their job at Yahoo! And they dedicated themselves to traveling the world. But soon their savings began to sink and they had to apply for a job on Facebook, which didn't work out as planned either. They were quite disappointed, but this failure led them to embark on a new journey in their life: WhatsApp. Jan Koum bought an iPhone in January 2009 and soon realized the potential of the application industry on the App Store. I wanted to create an application that would display its statuses alongside the individual names of the users.
Koum discussed the idea with Acton and the two began visiting Alex Fishman to learn more. But executing this idea was impossible without the help of an iOS developer. So Alex introduced them to a Russian developer, Igor Solomennikov, whom he found on RentACoder.com. The beginning of the journey was not easy, but like many other successful entrepreneurs, they made their way. Koum managed to develop the iOS application and incorporated "WhatsApp inc."
He named it "WhatsApp" because it sounded more like what's going on, which aligns with the idea of statuses.
Advantages of WhatsApp
Free calls and video calls. It establishes the possibility of communication with students, teachers and centers in remote areas such as rural areas, other countries and the surrounding community, perfect for courses taught online.
Group formation and joint work by motivating students to work using a tool they know and like.
Automatic messages for specific inquiries. It facilitates virtual meetings avoiding locational physical availability and, therefore, training, meetings, etc. can be held.
Specialists recommend using chat groups to give virtual classes to students. It facilitates a more personalized monitoring of the student's educational process and allows easy contact with students. In this way, the use of instant messaging is developing in universities to increase enrollment and retain students.
The permanent presence of the educational institution through their mobile phone strengthens the relationship of students with the institution. The permanent presence of the educational institution through their mobile phone strengthens the relationship of students with the institution. Locate a teacher, justify absences, locate certain services of the institution, etc. This brings great benefits to the educational institution. Since it avoids the collapse of calls or the saturation of physical spaces where students go for administrative and pedagogical reasons.
The use of WhatsApp as a tool in the classroom
Evidence and initial research suggest that WhatsApp may be a promising tool to support communication and collaboration inside and outside the classroom, facilitating the crossing of physical and virtual borders through its mobility and immediacy. Much positive influence is mentioned regarding technical, educational and instructional issues. One of the learnings that have been studied more extensively, were the subjects with specialization in Mathematics Education.
Thematic topology has a distinctive character, namely the use of logic and in-depth analysis, so it is important to optimize the logical and analytical capacity. The effectiveness of WhatsApp has been demonstrated to record a discussion considering Blended Learning In this way, WhatsApp in education is a reality. Educators see the benefits of the WhatsApp application in the educational process. Specialists advise the use of chat groups to share classes with students in virtual mode. Many cool tasks can be done with this messaging app. For example, allowing students to share assignments through video calls.
Steps to incorporate WhatsApp into education
WhatsApp has more than a billion users, so it is impossible that such reach does not reach the educational field. It is up to teachers and institutions to take advantage of this for the benefit of the educational process. Tools like WOZTELL that add WhatsApp Business to business software like ZOHO allow the development of solutions for educational institutions. So they take advantage of this for the benefit of the educational process. Steps include:
- Preparation of materials to form slides that are made with image files created through a presentation.
- Make sure that each participant has the WhatsApp application and the contact number of each participant
- Create a group in the WhatsApp application entering all the contacts considering the total number of participants.
Student response to the use of WhatsApp in education
The response of students when using the WhatsApp application as a means of discussion through Blended Learning has a sufficiently high level of acceptance. This means that most of the courses require innovation adapted to the technological advances developed today. As WhatsApp has become a common tool in the classroom, there will be a need for more research in order to identify the effectiveness of this application to integrate them as goals in education and pedagogy in a generalized way. This will require the implementation of a wide range of quantitative research methodology. It can also be implemented to deal with high school and elementary students as well as the corporate training arena.
Benefits of using WhatsApp in education
In the first place, it stimulates collaborative work and achieves the exchange of content both between the institution and the students and among the workers of the institution. For example, share audio lessons, send PPT materials or documents like Word, books, etc. Video content can also be shared.
In addition, the educational community can be informed of announcements related to the institution such as new available courses or updates. Announcements, notices, and information from teachers or a specific class can be sent to group members, among other uses. Therefore, it is best to take advantage of this tool by creating suitable content.
It is precisely through the creation of new teaching materials that students can make the most of WhatsApp, support each other for their training and trust the channel. A technological tool cannot be expected to be educational in itself, but it is a means to an educational end.
Based on the evidence, it is concluded that it measures the use of the WhatsApp application as a means of discussion in blended learning sessions started offline using conventional methods, so that the online session focuses on discussion through dialogue and interaction among the participants. The use of WhatsApp Business in education has greatly benefited students and universities. This tool enables more effective communication with students and their families. It enables more agile, less expensive and more effective organizational processes. The administration becomes more dynamic and less bureaucratic. In addition, teachers can have more pedagogical tools including WhatsApp in their educational strategy and those responsible for the institution can take control of all communications.
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