Before taking ECMP 355, I thought that Social Networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype should be avoided in school. In my elementary and high school, theses types of sites had filtering programs to block students from accessing them. I have had it ingrained in me until my last semester of school that technology belongs at home, and that teachers should deny students opportunity from participating in social networking during school hours. But, throughout the semester, I’ve learned that these tools can be very beneficial in the learning process of the students. I’m now a firm believer that social networking should be a regular part of every class. By understanding how our students are using these social networking tools, we can help make school even more relevant and meaningful to them.
Here is a short clip that explains why social networking should be used in schools. This is from the site “Twiducate“, a social networking site for schools.
Studies show that students are using social networking as more than keeping updated with their social life. When students ages 16-18 were asked what they learn from using these sites, the students listed technology skills as the top lesson, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views, and communication skills. This proves that students are practicing the skills that are needed in the 21st century to be successful. I think that this allows them to develop a positive attitude toward making technology a part of their everyday life, and that we shouldn’t be discouraging them from this by taking away the privilege of technology during the school day.
I think that schools are going to increasingly use more social networking as part of their regular classroom work. I am seeing more and more schools using Twitter as a way to keep in touch with parents, students, and teachers. Social networking sites are increasingly becoming a bigger part in promoting schools and divisions for parents and for future teachers who are looking job jobs.
As we prepare ourselves for a future led by technology, we need to stay updated and knowledgeable about how to integrate social networking as part of our every day lessons. Here is a list of 100 Inspiring Ways to use Social Media in the Classroom. There are many beneficial strategies listed here that we could easily start incorporating as we start teaching. I hope that I can be a technology leader in my school where students and I can collaborate together in creating a classroom atmosphere that is centered around technology.