Social Media in the Classroom – Good Fit?
Is Social Media a good fit into the classroom? We are having to ask that question, whether we like it or not. Students are constantly using social media daily. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, are just of the few sites they visit. As teachers, we have to decide to if there is merit of these sites. I can remember when MySpace was the all the rage. Facebook came along, and boy did that throw people for a loop. People jumped on the bandwagon and reconnected with people all over the world. Now we have to decide how social media has changed the landscape of education.
Today, many teachers are using websites; Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts to connect with their students on an educational level. As Shirky states, “Human beings are social creatures – not by accident, but always” (p. 14). Our students are social creatures and more so than ever since the invasion of social media. It is how they conduct their lives. Shirky believes the cell phone a major factor in the advancement of social media (YouTube-Ted). What do almost all teenagers have? Well, the newest cell phone available. Now, the question is if social media is a good fit into the classroom. I believe that if we don’t make it a good fit, we will fall behind in education.
Okay, I know some of you are thinking that some will abuse the privilege and the idea of social media being allowed into the classroom. Yes, they will, and we will have to deal with that on a case to case basis. However, I know a teacher that has a web page and Twitter account that is set up just for her class. By using these types of media, her students have fewer missing assignments and can get updated information if they are absent. Parents are informed, and students cannot “pull the wool over their eyes” as in years past. We will have to look at the negatives as we go through the journey. The idea of invading others’ privacy does worry me. We will have to be the ones to educate our students about the dangers of being too connected.
I truly think this is an exciting time in education. I think the idea of organizing the group for the common good of all students will be a plus. If using Twitter, Facebook, or other types of media will help my student stay engaged in learning, then I am all for it! As a SPED teacher, I am going to use every tool in the tool box given to me to help my students be on the same playing field as general-education students. So I can say, social media will be a good fit if it is done properly.
Six degrees of connection is all around us. We either embrace it, or we will be left out in the cold. Our global economy is advancing at a rate we never thought was possible. Hold on folks, the ride will be bumpy but with lots of excitement and learning.
Photos Courtesy of:
Shirky, C. (n.d.). Here Comes Everyone by. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=mafZyckH_bAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=here+comes+everybody&hl=en&sa=X&ei=T5uNUeKVHOiuiAK6q4GoBg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA
TED, Y. . (n.d.). Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_iN_QubRs0