Social Media Isn’t Too Cool For School

Social media is not a fad… it is here to stay. Social media is a great tool for classroom collaboration and participation. An article by Mashable featured on social media site Salty Waffle walks through 6 points in using social media in the classroom:

1) Social Media is Not Going Away

Like the Internet, social media is here to stay.
 
2) When Kids Are Engaged, They Learn Better

Kids are engaged in social media – “Almost three-fourths of 7th through 12th graders have at least one social media profile, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey group used social sites more than they played games or watched videos online.” By integrating this type of interest into the classrooms, kids can become more involved in school.

3) Safe Social Media Tools Are Available – And They’re Free

“Many mainstream social media sites like Facebook and MySpace are blocked in schools that receive federal funding because of the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which states that these schools can’t expose their students to potential harm on the Internet.”

4) Replace Online Procrastination with Social Education

It is amazing to read about the results some teachers featured in the Mashable article have received. One person noted – “They were just as happy to do work rather than talk trash. All they wanted was to be with their friends.” Social media is the perfect solution for bring kids together to learn. They already are online talking with friends, why not take advantage of this interest?

5) Social Media Encourages Collaboration Instead of Cliques

Aside from what Mashable has to say about this, a video by CNN explains how a shy student used Twitter to stand out, earn respect, and stop getting teased in school.

6) Cell Phones Aren’t the Enemy

Texting students improved chronic absenteeism by about 35% without costing the school a dime in one school. What ideas do you have for how texting can help students?

Another point mentioned in this article is the fact that social media is public. As Robert Cialdini pointed out in his 6 principles of persuasions, when people commit orally by making something public it makes them more accountable. This is true for students, as Matt Hardy explains in the Mashable article –

“Students aren’t just writing on a piece of paper that gets handed to the teacher and maybe a smiley face or some comments get put on it,” he says. “Blogging was a way to get students into that mode where, ‘Hey, I’m writing this not just for an assignment, not just for a teacher, but my friend will see it and maybe even other people [will] stumble across it.’ So there’s power in that.”

What do you think about social media in schools?

Kelly Batke

Kelly is the self-confessed technology laggard who works in technology. The good news is she is slowly reaching late adopter status. Kelly enjoys learning and writing about the psychology behind technology—as in why do we buy what we buy, and how does that impact our environment?