Podcasts, blogs, Twitter and talk radio serve as additional college planning resources for students and families. They allow them to get information in a non-traditional manner and approach college planning from a different angle. Podcasts and talk radio allow students to hear dialogue as opposed to just reading the information. They can hear debates and lectures from anywhere if they have an internet connection. Sometimes they provide a nice break from the monotony of reading. I personally haven’t used podcasts often and feel like they are a dying trend as social media resources such as Twitter, Youtube, blogs and Facebook grow in popularity.
Twitter and blogs allow students to get many perspectives on college planning such as those from peers, counselors, researchers and admission representatives. Unlike other resources, blogs and Twitter are normally updated frequently allowing students to have access to new information and be kept up to date on various college planning topics. A lot of schools are using Twitter to keep students up to date on their application process, events and due dates. Through blogging and Twitter, students are able to connect with others and possibly get more information by tagging and commenting on posts. They provide many more resources outside of the typical college planning and individual college websites.
I found some interesting blogs listed on this website: http://www.collegebound.net/blog/top-bloggers/
Some of the topics I found interesting are SAT and ACT tips, freshman student updates and admission trends.
I would consider use of these social media resources as effective methods of learning about college planning online. From the organization or college standpoint, they are more cost effective than other forms of communication and reach a large audience. From the student standpoint, I think that the number of resources available to students is great, but it can quickly become overwhelming. Students need to know how to sort through all of the information they read or listen to and pick out what is reliable and what is relevant to their individual situation. Students with limited or no internet access would obviously be missing out on all of these resources.
As much as I am a fan of social media, I hope that schools and counselors remember the value of face to face communication and real conversation.