APU Careers & Learning Online Learning

Staying engaged; both socially and scholastically

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We’ve all heard the buzz about Facebook lately…privacy-this, delete your account-that.  What you haven’t heard much of, is how Facebook can actually help you in your studies.

Granted, it may be all too easy to get sucked into Facebook when you should be doing your work, but studies have actually shown that a little brain break actually ups your efficiency.

Staying engaged (especially being a “non-traditional student” in an online world) is paramount to your success as an online student.  Don’t just count on the discussion boards your university provides for you, make your conversation spill over into Twitter and Facebook, and onto blogs and forums.  Get others involved.  You would be surprised at what you’ll learn by simply sharing your opinion and engaging socially; not just scholastically.

Not only does engaging in discussion via social media flex your brain muscle by beefing up your points and arguments for the paper that’s due next Sunday, it flexes your social muscle and opens you up to other points of view that you may have never even considered.  In addition, you may end up making a few friends along the way.

Here are a few tips to stay engaged both socially and scholastically:

  1. Use Twitter Search: Poke around a bit, find topics that interest you and engage in the conversation.  You may start off talking about the points you’re planning on driving home in that paper due Sunday, and wind up talking about a myriad of other things that interest you.  Don’t let your brain or your social muscle gather dust!
  2. “Like” your university on Facebook: Start discussions in the discussion tab, or even start discussions on the wall of the page.  Comment on posts, interact with your peers!
  3. Contribute to discussion forums and post comments on blogs: If you’re commenting on a blog or forum of a topic that interests you, check the little “notify me of follow-up comments via email” box. You’ll receive a notification every time someone adds a comment to the thread you participated in – a great way to fuel conversation!

Happy Socializing!

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