Have you ever considered incorporating social media in education? Perhaps no. Most of us think that social networking is a leisure activity and, is a surefire distraction for the teaching and learning processes, and hence should be banned in school.
I have come across many school administrators, who think that if students are allowed to use social media in schools, they will be tempted to spend countless hours in socializing, which will certainly impede their process of learning. Even worse, teachers may also stay tuned to social networking, exhibiting an inappropriate behavior in the school premises. But, in spite of this injudicious stigma, I have always believed that social media has a lots to do with the modern education system. Passionate educators like me, who have never been afraid to explore new techniques, embrace social media as a powerful tool for training and learning.
I think that we must get past the stigma that has been tagged along with social media. In the 21st century, when social networking has opened up fresh avenues for collaborative learning, banning social media in school is a sheer negligence on our part. We must consider the advantage of using this free resource for learning and training purpose. Social media is all about conversation that revolves around the user-created content.
The best part of using social media is that it enables students to apply practically what they have learned in a creative manner. It not only fosters a high level of thinking but also introduce them with a variety of learning styles. The process in the long run expands the knowledge base of the students. Leveraging the social media tools, educators can authentically engage students in an encouraging conversation. Thus, it stimulates discussion, collaboration, communication, and creativity. With the social media tools like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, the process has become all the more hassle free and interesting. Among the specialized social media tools, special mention should be made of Voicethread, Glogster, Animoto, and Prezi.
In my class, I have always encouraged my students to have accounts in twitter. In some classes, having a Twitter account is mandatory. For example, in a digital photography class, my students are asked to promote their own photography samples and tweet the real-time events taking place in school thus, encouraging them to use real-world tools for in-depth understanding of the subject.
Thus, social media supports responsible learning, which in future helps students to cope up with the real world in a far better way.