Before the emergence of COVID-19, Social networks were seen as a simple means of entertainment that should be addictive and benefit from our data, which is seen as a poison to our mental health and a distracting enemy of education. However, today they are part of our daily lives and are used as a tool for communication, advertising, commerce and education. Her immersion in the various aspects of our lives has made her a valuable source of information that, with the right tools, can help us find solutions to the problems that plague us as a society.
During the lockdown of the pandemic, all educational institutions have closed their facilities without exception. Teachers were forced to make sudden and drastic changes to their courses, moving from an in-person model to a remote model. Additionally, They had to resort to using new media for academic activities and exchange concerns, advice and experiences regarding the new teaching method. An example of this was the forum “Switching a course to the online modality: tips and best practices”, which the Creating a friendly, supportive community this helped them successfully transition to the new model.
Social networks create research and learning opportunities
In order to find solutions and make decisions, it is essential to understand the needs of a sector of our society or our profession. However, the challenge is enormous when talking about thousands of people, each with different opinions, experiences, circumstances and locations. In this sense, Social networks represent a huge database that records the interactions between members and allows their views, concerns and comments to be observed. In other words, Social networks create diverse research and learning opportunities for social scientists. A few decades ago, this kind of effort presented a challenge to computer scientists and statisticians. Fortunately, advances in data mining and big data have realized the potential of social networks as a source of information.
The advance of data mining and big data has materialized the potential of social networks as a source of information.
A group of Tec de Monterrey professors researched the publications of 5,729 university professors in a forum entitled “Moving a Course to the Online Modality: Tips and Best Practices” to identify the needs of the professors and their concerns about this new modality . The results were shared in the article Professors’ concerns after switching from face-to-face to online teaching amid COVID-19 contingency: A data mining analysis for educational purposes (De Oca, Villada-Balbuena & Camacho-Zuñiga, 2021). The analyzed forum operated between March 2020 and June 2021 and aimed to share teaching practices in the classroom under the new remote model. Faculties of art, design, architecture, natural sciences, engineering and medicine, among others, were involved, representing a representative sample of teachers in terms of age, gender and field of study. We have filtered the collected information into a clean database to remove any inconsistencies. Only the intent of the message was preserved. The corpus was then subjected to text and sentiment analysis (Abbas et al., 2018).
The results showed that In the first 15 months of the pandemic, social media helped teachers stay in touch and even fostered collaborative study groups. Teachers used the forum not only to exchange experiences with distance learning, e.g. B. how students have improved through the use of video recordings, or the ongoing debate over whether cameras should remain on or off. In addition, social networks enabled participating teachers to express their feelings during detention and to seek peer support. The sense of community was reflected in the positive vibes of most of the posts. This can be attributed to the good results achieved in the new model or the motivation to help others with advice.
The use of social networks and data analysis help to improve education
Continuous sharing of videos, tips, links and apps to improve their teaching helped teachers reduce the negative impact on their students’ education due to the situations caused by the pandemic.
One of the greatest lessons we can learn from this study is the need to create similar discussion forums and safe spaces for all members of educational institutions, students and teachers. These virtual spaces allowed teachers to share their feelings and recommendations on a daily basis in the extreme conditions experienced during lockdown to ensure a better environment in their universities.
Another key lesson learned from the results was the outstanding scope of social networks in our lives, relationships and persistence in our new normal. This type of research and its specific approach reveals social networks as a valuable source of information that allows easy access to samples while avoiding bias. It is precisely for this reason that the article above presents accurate results that suggest measures that could improve the classroom experience for both students and teachers under the remote modality.
Social networks provide information about communities at different levels, from different guilds to entire nations. Social researchers can generate valuable knowledge from this to identify problems and search for solutions. Today it has become one Reality thanks to advances in data mining and big data; However, analyzing natural language and other unstructured data remains a challengeeng.
The article by De Oca, Villada-Balbuena & Camacho-Zuñiga (2021) describes the teaching practices that enabled the transition from face-to-face to online modality and deserve our attention to identify those strategies and guidelines that have improved teaching and what we must maintain at the end of confinement. We invite you to view the full document at https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9733778 and share your thoughts in the comments section of this article Observatory of the Institute for the Future of Education at Tec de Monterrey.
About the authors
Marian Morales Quinto (A01366433@tec.mx) is a 8th semester Biotechnology Engineering student at Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Toluca and is currently an Information Technology (IT) intern at Procter & Gamble Mexico Corporation. She was the winner of the Academic Talent Scholarship awarded by the Tecnologico de Monterrey in 2018, President of the HeForShe Tec Toluca student group from July 2020 to December 2021 and Events Director of the same student group from January 2020 to June 2020, returning to the position in January of this year.
Claudia Camacho Zuniga (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a science teacher focused on research, innovation and transformation of higher education. She has a Ph.D. in Materials from UAEMex and an M.Sc. in process engineering and physical engineering from IBERO. Her publications in internationally indexed journals have been cited more than 250 times, including a World Health Organization mention of her work on education during the COVID-19 lockdown. She is currently a researcher at the Institute for the Future of Education and Professor at the School of Engineering and Sciences at the Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Toluca, Mexico. Since 2014, she has been developing innovation and education research to foster in university students a passion for science, ethical and civic engagement, and an appreciation for the diversity of knowledge and people.
De Oca, SM, Villada-Balbuena, M., & Camacho-Zuñiga, C. (2021). Professors’ concerns after switching from face-to-face to online classes amid COVID-19 contingency: A data mining analysis for educational purposes. In 2021 Workshop on machine learning driven digital technologies for educational innovation (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
Available at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9733778
Roman, JAM (2020). La education superior en tiempos de pandemia: una vision of the dentro del process formativo. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Educativos (Mexico), 5013-40
Abbas A, Zhou Y, Deng S, & Zhang P (2018). Text analysis to support meaning making in social media: A language-action perspective. MIS quarterly, 42(2).
Edition of Rubí Román (email@example.com) – Editor of edu-bits and webinars – “Learning that inspires” – Observatory of the Institute for the Future of Education of the Tec de Monterrey.
Translation by Daniel Wetta.