Social Media is all around us. We see it on our phones phones, hear it on the news, and participate in it multiple times a day, but what is social media? What power does it have?
What does this mean for teachers? With the growth on technology in the classroom, it has opened a door for social media. The controversy over social media in the classroom is on going…
For and Against Using Social Media in the Classroom
An Argument Against Using Technology in the Classroom
While the use of technology in the classroom grows, and can be a very positive learning tool, I don’t believe that there is a place for social media in education. I believe that there is a time and a place for social media. That time and place is not in the classroom during class time.
First, more often than not, social media like twitter, facebook, and instagram (among others) become a distraction. Students will stop listening and engaging in the material if they are able to chat with their friends and scroll through non-educational material. Allowing social media into the classroom is like asking for classroom management issues. How do you know who is on task and who isn’t? How do you know if students are using social media platforms the way you are intending them to be used?
If including social media in the classroom is about getting students to collaborate, why do we notice people engaged with their cellphones, but unable to carry on a conversation? There are more effective ways of getting students to collaborate — in person.
Secondly, it can be an invasion of privacy and a risk to personal safety. Some students parents will not allow them to participate, because they do not agree with their child accessing social media. Students may post information that will come back to haunt them. The internet can be dangerous and young students can make poor choices about what they post on social media sites. Students can view and post inappropriate material that at their age they are not ready to handle. It would be better for students to limit what they share within the school building. This way the teacher can see exactly what information the student is sharing and the student is not risking their privacy or safety by being connected to people all over the world and making permanent decisions about what they share.
Thirdly, we all know that bullying is an issue. When bullying is happening in the school or class, the teacher is able to stop it from continuing and monitor student behaviour. When social media is used in the classroom, there is the opportunity for the bullying to become a cyber issue. In fact, cyber bullying can be a really troubling issue. The teacher is less able to notice, prevent, and stop bullying. Bullying is a serious issues that can be perpetuated in cyber spaces such as social media platforms.
Social media can become an issue for anybody. It distracts us from true communication as well as other priorities. The internet can be a dangerous place; social networking sites can lead to the sharing of inappropriate information. Additionally, cyber bullying is becoming a very common occurrence. Do we want to invite all of this into our schools. Children go to school to learn. Social media sites cause distraction, disengagement, and can even endanger them. Students should focus on their studies and not be subjected to these negative aspects of social media.
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An Argument Promoting Social Media in the Classroom
From homes to school hallways social media is booming. Although society has seemed to create an era of antisocial phone zombies, there are good uses of social media. Perhaps, if students were taught proper uses, considering digital citizenship and sparking meaningful conversations about topics relevant to the world, there would be less negativity attached to social media. I believe there should be a place for social media in education and in the classroom.
First, technology and social media is everywhere, it surrounds students. To remove such a relevant part of their lives out of their education should not make any sense at all. When a student is taught to use something such as social media, they are being gifted with knowledge that they will actually use outside of the school doors, and in their daily lives. Teachers from all over the world are incorporating not only technology in the classroom but also, social media. Students, parents and teachers are thriving with a new exciting way to connect and share their educational journeys,
Kathy Cassidy is a primary teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan who incorporates social media into the classroom in the form of twitter and blogging. Check out what her students have done and what she has to say on her classroom blog.
Second, there are a lot of preventative actions that educators can take by teaching students about the platforms they use. There have been tragedies all over the world rooted in cyber bullying and misuse of social media. There is, without a doubt, a dangerous aspect to social media. This should be a driving force to educate our learners when it comes to their online lives. Our online lives unfortunately are no different from our offline lives. Providing knowledge and lessons on proper use and skills is crucial to today’s students. Consider the social learning theory, and the importance of teachers setting an online example. When live in a different world where social media cannot be escaped. Students need to learn how social media can benefit them instead of bringing harm onto them.
Its just like knives, we need knives to cut and while we cook things. If we didn’t have knives in our kitchens people would hate cooking even more than they already do. Without knives life would be a lot harder. However knives can be used in the wrong way and even when taught proper use, some people will still misuse them. When looking at an innocent child a knife can be dangerous, until they are taught how to properly use them, it is then that a knife becomes useful.
Thirdly, connecting to educators, and student from all over the world is something that can only broaden the minds of our young learners. When the world can collaborate, think, and create together there is a lot that can be accomplished. Educators can share ideas, bettering the lessons for their students. Students can learn new things, such as culture and ideas. Most importantly parents can easily access and see what their child is learning and accomplishing. I believe there is a lot a parent can learn about their child from a simple blog post or a tweet.
See how students have benefited from social media here: