The use of current and emerging social media technology is clearly moving us in the education community closer towards Tim Berners-Lee’s ideal of using the web as "an information space through which people can communicate…by sharing their knowledge in a pool.”
In this world of increased web-based social interaction, meeting the unique needs of Gen Y learning styles is the bottom line. In the 21 Century classroom, the ‘always on,’ student will control the how, what, and when a task is completed.
Gen Y students expect interactive, engaging content and course material that motivates them to learn through challenging pedagogy, conceptual review, and learning style adaptation. This approach offers Gen Y learners flexible, self-paced, customizable content available on-demand (via RSS feeds or Pipes).
Interactive and engaging content motivates students to learn through the course materials and apply them according to their own intrinsic needs and learning goals.
However, educators should be careful not to use social networking for the sake of using social media, rather they should keep in mind how the use of any type of technology element can support student learning--individually and as a collective group.
Social media engages the user in the content and allows them to be included as an active participant as they construct a learning landscape rooted in social interaction, knowledge exchange, and optimum cognitive development with their peers.