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Technology has drastically changed how the world operates. Depending on how you utilize it, it can certainly make your life slightly easier. Affording one opportunity to easily acquire knowledge that would have otherwise been reserved for a select few, stands as one of the benefits of the internet. We all know that navigating university and early career development can prove to be quite challenging, especially when you lack knowledge and awareness.
Knowing how to use the internet to empower you with critical information is a crucial skill – all you need is functioning internet and the will to learn. So, let’s talk about understanding and utilizing the internet to maximize its benefits.
Understanding the internet:
Because of social media, we arguably all have a grasp of the internet. According to an article on Talkwalker, with roughly 36 million people using the internet, there is an estimated 62% internet penetration in South Africa. There are many ways to use the internet and most of us utilize it through the hours we spend scrolling aimlessly on social media. Don’t get me wrong, these hours can be quite beneficial sometimes. Because of the convenience of social media, many people have started using it as a tool to disseminate vital knowledge and in turn, grow the South African knowledge economy. Doing this requires acknowledging that while the internet can be used for leisure and a few laughs, it should also be used for development and empowerment. You just need to know how to operate the latter function.
Utilizing the internet:
Student Advancement Platforms:
The first tool that you need to maximize is the information available on platforms dedicated to making the lives of students and young adults easier. These include GradesMatch, Foonda, Syafunda, and Career Wise. Since you are reading this article, I might be safe in assuming that you are familiar with the wealth of support that Career Wise offers students and young adults. So, I will jump straight to Foonda and Syafunda.
Foonda is an app committed to increasing access to higher education by supporting students with scholarship information. All you need to do is create an account on the website and create a brief user survey that will match you to scholarship and bursary opportunities that match your profile.
Syafunda is a content distribution and data collection platform. Its services include making e-books and digital content accessible, providing mentorship material to teachers and students as well as sharing information on free wireless network and connectivity.
There is nothing you cannot learn on YouTube. From acquiring a new skill like knitting or coding, – right to using Excel and making PowerPoint presentations. The power of YouTube is immeasurable, it just requires you to be intentional of what you choose to consume from the platform.
Students may consider utilising channels that cover educational content. This may range from content designed to help with university studies, right to career advice videos. Crash courses on different industries or videos on how to DIY your own complex projects could also prove useful. Anyone who truly believes that YouTube is saturated by beauty content only has not learnt the power of that search button.
Social Media Curation:
Just like most things in life, social media is complex in that there is a good and bad side. Some of the good can be attributed to the industry professionals who continue to use it as a tool to disseminate essential knowledge and information to the masses. Many a time someone has tweeted something interesting that we assume we should all already know about, and people have responded with “I wish they taught us this at school”. A quick keyword search on Twitter can lead you to very interesting threads containing information that could advance your professional development.
It is important to curate your social media so that the algorithm continues to favor you with topics you find most relevant. Curating your social media experience means following people who are most relevant to the industry you want to grow skills in. If you are starting university soon, a quick keyword search on Twitter will point you to relevant people and information that could help shed knowledge where you lack. Whether you are a young lawyer, academic, brand manager, economist, etc. there are many accounts on Twitter dedicated to enlightening you with information that could help you navigate the industry better.
We already spend so much time on social media, why not consume it as a tool to learn and grow?
Tip: Always remember to fact-check information that you glean from internet sources.