Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Social Media Irony in the Classroom
Here is a tweet from today: pembinatrailsSD Due to -45 C windchill there will be NO SCHOOL BUS SERVICE TODAY.
The ironic thing is Pembina Trials, like most school divisions in the province of Manitoba, actually block social networking sites so students do not have access to them at school. So while they obviously recognize the huge benefit these tools have in aiding communication and developing school community, they refuse to give students access to these tools to aid their learning.
Now the question remains, if school divisions do not block social networking sites, how do they approach students' misuse of social media sites such as facebook and twitter during school hours? Although I do not have any concrete answers, I believe that it is up to us as educators to teach students how to use these tools appropriately. This will mean that teachers will have to pull students aside and speak to them about their "online life". It may also mean that we may have to "suspend" computer privileges to certain students that are not adhering to policies set up by the school division regarding the use of social networking sites.
However, the alternative of not using these tools in the classroom is that students WILL use them outside of the classroom with LITTLE guidance, and no sense of ACCOUNTABILITY. Using them in school will set up a structure where social networking can create COMMUNITY, increase COLLABORATION, increase ACCOUNTABILITY, ENGAGE students, and give them more tools to access INFORMATION and increase LEARNING. The benefits of social media in the classroom far outweigh the consequences. The ironic thing is, in a world that is driven by technology, schools are a far cry from being connected.
Posted by Shaun Funk at 3:21 PM