When I was grade school, the computers that we're at our disposal for learning were not connected to the Internet and some of them were'nt even in color. It amazes me now that children as young as 8 or 9 carry around cell phones and iPods. Some people might think that they are too young to be exposed to this kind of technology, but some teachers across the globe have decided to put this techno trend to good use by including social media like Facebook and Twitter to their teaching methods.
Banning social media isn't the answer:
Many teachers see the potential in using social media as a learning tool. Some schools have tried banning cell phones and social media altogether, but they soon discovered that doing so was not the answer. Students need to be taught how to correctly interact with each other and their teachers on social media networks. However, it's difficult to find the balance between using social media to communicate information to students (sports schedules, homework assignments, exam dates, etc.) and the dangers of teachers developing an inappropriate or unhealthy relationship with their students. Fortunately for teachers and students, someone created a social media website just for them. Edmondo is a social media site that gives students and teachers the advantages of Facebook, but with the security needed to keep everyone's private lives, private. The site's interface is almost a carbon copy of Facebook's and it can be used by teachers to communicate with their students and create polls or topics than can be discussed in and out of the classroom.
The risk of using social media in schools:
Teachers have to be careful of what they post on their Facebook or Twitter pages because they are role models to young and impressionable minds. They can talk about where they went to school or college, but they shouldn't post the pictures of frat parties they attended when they were students themselves. On the other hand, not all teachers want to use social media in their classes. Some fear that seeing their students in a different light than when they are in class might change the original perspective they had of them...and their grades. They claim that students should be judged based on how they perform in class, not how they interact with their friends on social media sites. The problem is that banning social media altogether in school is nearly impossible. While grade schools students have just been recently introduced to social media, many teens have been using it for some time now. In fact, many teenagers use social media and texting as the only way of communicating with their friends or their parents.
In the end, using social media in the classroom could easily be compared to using social media for business. Not everybody is completely sold on the idea. People have to be careful of what they post online, and an even if the benefit of using those types of sites has been proven time and time again, some people are still sold to doing things the old fashioned way.