Social media was a hot topic in my house the last few years. My mom works at a middle school and I was attending high school. We saw social media from very different views. She would share the frustrations she faced such as the students being mean and posting hurtful comments through social media. I would share the opposite and liked using social media to stay in touch with others, know what was going on with friends, and laugh at what some people would post. We had a few good talks about the pro’s and con’s of social media and agreed social media can be powerful, it is the person who is using it that determines if the power is for good or not.
Social media is a large part of my life and many other people’s lives. I do not know anyone that does not do something with or use social media. It is amazing that something so powerful and widely used is not really a part of school when it comes to teaching. I do not mean for teachers to use social media such as FaceTime or Twitter in their own lives, I mean using it as a way to teach. Instead of teachers telling us to put our phones away, they could let us use them for schoolwork.
I believe that more students would do their work if they could use social media. I would much rather share a short comment through social media than talk in a big group in class. We could use Twitter to post comments about a topic or novel we read. It may be a lot of short comments but in the end I think more students may join in and share their thoughts.
I had one teacher that would make videos of lessons and put them on her website, this was great when I did homework and got stuck on a problem. I wish others did this too. As a class, students could post how they did certain math problems and we could learn from each other. I would learn more from a friend in a YouTube clip than I would from a paper textbook.
I believe that we can Google most information that teachers share. The teachers could give us on-line scavenger hunts and we could see who could find information the fastest and post what we learned. We could then see what everyone put and if we are all correct we get another item to search for. If it is not correct the teacher can let students know this and send them back to search again.
Due to the number of young kids that have cell phones, social media should be used in class in elementary schools. I believe that students may become nicer on social media if they use it more in class and were taught at a young age. Teachers could teach students how to treat others and use social media in class. Teachers could then offer suggestions on how to present themselves and talk to others. They could teach students the risks of putting mean things on social media and help them to learn what it should be used for. If used in class students would know that teachers are watching what is posted and therefore keep it appropriate. This would hopefully carry over to when teachers were not watching.
The pro’s of social media are larger than the con’s. Social media can be powerful and can lead to students doing more work, becoming nicer, and letting students learn from and with their classmates. Teachers need to let students have this power and help them to use it well.