With social network on the rise, and the large amount of young people that take part in social networking, there is question as to whether or not social media should be part of our education system. Propenents of social media point out the benefits of social media in regards to educational tools, and increased student engagement, while critics of social networking focus on subject like privacy, time, and miscommunication.
Pros of Social Networking
Today’s students are increasingly using social networking as a means to communicate. According to a recent poll, 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Seventy-five percent of teenagers own cell phones--25 percent use them for social media, 54 percent use them for texting, and 24 percent use them for instant messaging. (O’Keefe 2011) With these statistics in mind, educators looking to engage students in an already challenging curriculum, search for ways to connect a student’s learning experience to what has become a huge force in their young lives. Social networking can be yet another platform to enrich the learning experience since students and teachers can connect beyond the confine of the classroom. Although Websites such as FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkIn are popular among young people, they are not the best, or the only social network sites available to use in school since they are “open sites” where anyone outside the student’s immediate circle can access communicate, or gain information. Instead, blogs, wikis, and private social networking are tools that can make a tremendous impact on how teachers teach and students learn in a much safer arena than public sites such as FaceBook or Twitter. Blogs, Wiki Private Label and other private social networks such as Edmondo or Socialcast, provide a place for teachers to post homework, communicate with parents and...
References: Mitrano, T. (2006).A Wider World - Youth, Privacy, and Social Networking Technologies. Educause Review, Nov/Dec, 16-28.
O’Keefe G, Clarke-Pearson K, “Clinical Report-The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” Pediatrics. 2011 April; 127(4): 800-805
Rutherford, C. (2010). Using Online Social Media to Support Preservice Student Engagement. Journal of online learning and teaching, Vol. 6(4).
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