Most of us have social media accounts. We post 140-character tweets about our favorite brands. We tag our family and friends in photos on Facebook. We talk about our food and show off that amazing sunset photo from the other night on Instagram. Snapchat allows us to use photos and videos to tell our personal stories with text, stickers, filters, and in other ways.

We make social media our own, and it’s tailored to our interests, belief systems, and experiences. Social media is also a vital tool in eLearning courses, as these sites can further students’ understanding and provide insight, such as in the following ways.

You will have case studies

A lot of brands, companies, celebrities, thought leaders, and others express themselves using social media. Sometimes this is successful, and sometimes this fails. What stays the same is that you can use social media as valuable case studies for eLearning. Plus, when something big happens in the news, it will hit social media like wildfire. Case in point: the latest airline passenger fiasco (no need to name an airline—it’s a different one every week). The power of social media can shape opinions, ignite causes, create conversations, and more. Use case studies to your advantage in a learning environment.

It’s how people are communicating

You’re already in an online classroom. By employing social media tools in an eLearning classroom, you are engaging with your students. They will be able to share resources on their own personal social media accounts, such as links, photos, and other elements. Depending on the subject matter, knowing the ins and outs of posting items on social media could help them establish their own brand and that of a company.

You will be ahead of the curve

Technology is constantly changing, as are the norms that go along with it. Teaching students to be on top of things in the classroom will aid them in their future endeavors. Social media is here to stay, and the sooner you implement it in a physical or online classroom setting, the sooner students will connect with learning. Collaborative mind mapping is a good way to integrate learning and social media platforms. There are many tools that support this: Google the term to find ones that are free as well as ones that you can pay to license.

You can share content right into your eLearning courses

You can embed a YouTube video, share an online presentation, put your professional portfolio online, work collaboratively using a variety of online platforms and apps, or showcase a blog, among other things. Social media allows you to establish credibility and use integrated communications to showcase a multifaceted approach to 21st-century learning. Learn more about available tools here. Social learning is a valuable tool.

Of course, technology can be overwhelming and can cause stress. And social media has its own stressful situations and quirks. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then talk with someone near you about how to create a better eLearning experience for you and your students. It’s a win-win for you because you can work on your eLearning projects while getting the help you need.