I remember when I was a 100 level medical student, Whatsapp was just another social media app trying to steal every Nigerian student’s attention.
But then not everyone was using an android phone with Whatsapp compatibility and that was a problem because only a few phone contacts were online.
Also, the price of data was also a challenge to the popularity of the social media app. Rumors of tests and discussions were mainly done in class and if one happened to miss class they would only get the information from a colleague through text or call.
However, with newer and cheaper data rates Whatsapp became very popular especially among students as almost every student now use an android phone and can afford Whatsapp data bundles.
This made the classroom online and gradually, Whatsapp broadcast messages were used by the class representative to disseminate important information. Initially, it was impossible for the whole class to be added to a Whatsapp group chat simply because there was a limitation in the number of participants.
With recent updates, the capacity has been increased to 200 plus participants and this means class meetings and discussions can be held online. It is so convenient that vital information like tests schedules, class notes, and past questions could be passed across with just a tap on one’s Android phone.
Personally, I like to think that Whatsapp groups are the ‘future’ for classroom communications as everyone seem to be busy with their phones even while a lecture is going on. This means medical students spend more time texting than talking. It is now very likely that every medical student, with an Android or a smartphone, is a member of multiple academic groups.
Unfortunately or should I say ‘fortunately’ Whatsapp has stolen every medical student’s attention, unfortunately, because it can be so addicting and difficult to give other things attention and Well it is fortunate because it makes classroom gist and updates so easy and effective.
Even though WhatsApp update groups can be very helpful with respect to proper studying, and the next best thing after sliced bread, it can be equally annoying to come online to meet a million new unread messages!