Replace LMS Communication Tools?


Since my last LMS post, I have received several questions regarding LMS systems. One question, in particular, deserves an article. The question was, is it possible for social media to replace current LMS communication tools? That is a fantastic question! However, the answer is a little tricky.

There is no doubt that private social media companies have developed an array of fantastic tools that could be beneficial in a learning environment. To that end, it seems that many of the LMS platforms I have reviewed during my research are seeking to emulate the tools provided by these platforms. However, during my research, I have also noticed that many instructors use social media as their platform of choice, which is probably unwise, especially for advanced or professional learners.

Specifically, I am concerned with the idea of security, censorship, and content ownership. Publically available social media has inherent security issues, such as phishing, malware, data mining, and malicious apps (Tulane University, 2020). Additionally, alternative, political, or exploratory posts are often censored, to the point that the government has tried to intervene (Trump, 2020). Then there is the issue of content ownership. For example, according to Facebook’s terms, while they do not own the content generated, they have the right to use or sell the rights to use the content posted (Facebook, 2020).

The preceding presents a significant problem for some students. This is especially true for those who may generate insightful, useful, or proprietary content, as using social media could compromise the privacy and security of their ideas. Similar issues have been raised with platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

So, while I believe it is possible for instructors to use social media for teaching, I think it is probably not the best choice in certain settings due to security, censorship, and content ownership issues. However, and with that said, I do think that LMS platforms would be wise to integrate the various communication tools and emulate popular social media platforms.

You might also enjoy my article titled Do Learning Management Systems Limit Creativity?


Facebook. (2020). Terms of Service. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from

Trump, D. (2020, May 28). Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from

Tulane University. (2020). Key Social Media Privacy Issues for 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from