What would the world be today without Social Media? I don't have an answer to such a big question, but I certainly know what my life would be like without it. I'm not going to lie, I am addicted to Facebook, Twitter, etc. I am constantly on my iPhone either texting, going on social media sites, or listening to Pandora. I know I am not alone in this type of lifestyle and most wouldn't be able to give up that kind of social connection. More and more teenagers and pre-teens are starting to follow the same trend too. So what can we do in order to engage them in learning instead of their phones or the internet. Back when I attended South Winneshiek High School, phones were banned and Facebook was simply unthinkable. However, two years later, every kid from 5th to 12th grade has their own laptop and 3rd and 4th graders have their own iPads. The growth of technology is obvious and my former principal and teachers have taken notice. Now they incorporate a lot of technology into their classrooms, which include taking tests online and having online textbooks.
Image used with permission from South Winneshiek High School
My school isn't the only school that is incorporating technology into the classroom. Some schools are going as far as working Social Networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook into the classroom. In the article I have linked, it talks about a school in New Jersey who uses Twitter and Facebook to connect to the parents and students of the school. One might argue that this is intruding into the students personal lives, but I think it is an interesting thing. With the school being on Facebook, doesn't that help monitor student's online interactions? Doesn't it help teach them what to not post on Facebook before it's too late? Along with that, teenagers are already so consumed with Social Media, one would think that they would pay more attention what was being taught to them if it was in a format that interests them.
This is a method I feel that needs to be tested. No one knows what Social Media could do for the future generations learning unless someone tries it. I say "Kudos" to those schools who are brave enough to take that first step to keeping up with the future.
Read on about other schools with Social Media Influence here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-07-24-schools-social-media_n.htm