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The Challenges and Benefits of Social Media In Education Today

David Kraner
Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana

The aim of this paper is to highlight the problems that educators face when using social media in their work. Even though most of them are familiar with the positive and negative impacts of media, they are not empowered to identify the elements that promote media addiction among young people and do not have tangible tools to protect them. Through an original scientific study, we aim to present, on the one hand, the harmful features of the media that neuroscientists have pointed out and which are reflected in physical and mental health, educational underachievement and more aggressive behaviour. On the other hand, the expert findings on the positive features of media in the educational process, in terms of facilitating cooperative and collaborative learning, awareness of and interaction with other cultures, increased media literacy, training in self-organisation, the integration of formal and informal learning, the development of multimedia communication skills, and so on. Finally, we would like to stress the contradictory nature of statements about the usefulness and harmfulness of the media, which adds to the confusion that commercially oriented media predators exploit in all pockets of society to promote the consumption of goods and services. They exploit our data trails to push advertising offers and elements that encourage greater addiction among the most vulnerable. We find that education professionals are aware of the different impacts of the media, but do not know the tools and ways to protect themselves and young people from media predators, while at the same time using all the positive features of the media in their work.



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