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Yeah, I Go Online… But I Can Handle It…

May 8, 2011

It’s no secret that Social Media is seen as being addictive, and many of us are fairly sure it is impacting on learner attainment, so there’s plenty of interesting info be pulled out of the Infographic below. What struck me as I looked through it is the ineffectual way most K-12 education systems approach Social Media.

I have long been an advocate of getting the bit between the teeth and actively teaching about social media and its potential. Of course, given how most schools have tools like Facebook and Twitter clamped down and blocked from their machines, this is almost impossible. This is short sighted to say the least. Almost without exception, every major industry and company and college and university has a Facebook and Twitter presence. Traditional Media act as if they invented them (and in doing so, regularly demonstrate that they haven’t really got it at all!).

What I like about the graphic is that it does actually identify some positive uses for Social Media, as well as highlighting the negatives. If you simply state that something is bad, you are unlikely to get anywhere when it comes to teaching about it as I have observed in schools with effective drug education policies and practices. We really need to include a dose of realism in our approach to Social Media in schools. Teachers can use tools like Twitter and Facebook to enhance and extend the work done in class, while also keeping parents and interested parties involved. In doing so, it gives them more authority to advise about inappropriate practice. Simples!

If nothing else, I can’t help but think that this infographic Would make an excellent starting point for discussion in a language or social studies class…

Is Social Media Ruining Students?

How would you approach Social Media in K-12 if you had the choice?

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