How to use social networking software (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others) to increase engineering productivity
(Umair Ali Zafar, Maaz Ali Awan)
The world today is moving so fast that it is impossible to compete without having regular update of your knowledge. Thus, there must be a platform where people can come and discuss what they have learnt recently, by research, by studies or by accident also!
The objectives of this project were as described under:
- To carry out a survey of the social networking websites and their benefits to a normal user.
- To work out how a beginner can get to know these websites and how he/she can use them effectively.
- To find out the ways these websites can be used to enhance learning for students particularly the EE students.
When you get to know of the social networking websites, (these include facebook, LinkedIn and twitter) you think that you have found the platform you were looking for. But, does this platform provide you the relevant thing? This is what we were trying to find.
By surveying the websites, we found out that the platform is there for the purpose we required but one should be able to use it in the right direction to get the most benefit from it.
For this purpose, you have to be first a member of these sites, which you can be by availing the sign-up facility provided at their home page. Once you are a member, you can invite friends to the site and make or join groups that you think are of your interest (for an EE student, these would be the groups related to circuit designing and such type of things). Grouping enables you now to have full access to all the people of that group to acquire knowledge. You can get the main instructions from the people in the professional field who know more than you do about the professional life.
Applications of social networking sites:
Up till now we mainly discussed how to use the social networking software for the sake of gaining more knowledge and being up to date. Now we shall discuss the applications of these software to the students and prospective students of the electrical engineering course.
- Broadness of thinking:
When a person uses these websites, he starts to interact with different people. When a student of EE uses these websites, he gets to know people from different institutes, different places, having different mindsets and different amount of knowledge. Thus the student starts to think broadly as he comes across ideas from all over the world. This broadness increases his innovative and creative power which is a very good thing for a student.
- Resource sharing:
The students of EE can get to know where they can find different resources of EE and which of them are the most useful ones. The seniors will be quite helpful in this regard who have got more knowledge than the new-comers. The social networking sites provide a platform to share resources of EE with others so that others can benefit from them and the resources posted by others would be useful to one. The people who create resources can also give links to the ones they have created.
- Knowledge sharing:
When there are lots of people all having different amounts of knowledge, knowledge sharing at a large scale takes place. For an EE student, what’s better than a pool full of knowledge! Everyone in the network gets the benefit of having people at his disposal who know things he doesn’t know.
- Help in choosing area of specialization:
When people discuss about different subjects, an EE student can get the know how of different subjects, new and old, offered in the degree. Thus he can get to know which subjects he likes and should be taken up for further studies in the prevailing course and also in the higher level courses.
- Interaction with professionals:
With the help of these sites, one gets more and more interaction with the people who are in the professional field and finds how the life in the professional field is. This lets him setup his mind according to what he wants to do and how he wants it to be done.
- Enhancement in struggle:
The EE student, when stays in contact with the other people and listens to their ideas, he struggles hard to come up with something e can say is his own. He strives to get the best out of himself and thus uses all his efforts to enhance his abilities.
- Getting out of the shell:
Living in a single society and interacting with the same type of people puts a shell on you and your thinking is confined to this shell you have created for yourself. Your thinking gets problem specific for your own problems. But when you interact with people from different backgrounds and different problems, you break your shell and think at a higher level. This thing gets your mind working which is very good for you and your mind.
The full technical report and presentation on this topic can be viewed here