Social media websites are becoming a part of every day life. It is only natural that this tool would find its way into more than just the extracurricular portion of our activities. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been used in a classroom to enhance learning. There are however benefits and drawbacks to using social media in school.
1.) If a student is absent of school for any reason they may still be able to get their homework finished. If it is posted on a social media site such as Facebook then they will be able to see the assignment and complete it on time.
2.) If a student it having trouble with a certain concept and they did not realize it until outside of class then they can message their teacher. A simple message on their wall would allow the question to be posed to other students as well as the teacher. This could help collaboratively solve problems that students are having. If the student prefers to just share the information with their teacher then they can send it in a private message.
3.) Links to PDF files of homework worksheets can be put on a Twitter or Facebook page. This will give no student the excuse to say they lost their worksheet and as such could not complete it. Links to class related videos and other documents can also be put on a social media site.
4.) Social media sites make group projects much easier. It’s simple to communicate through the chat functions available on some of the sites or by posting on one another’s page. This will allow students who are busy or live far from one another to come together and work on something. They can exchange ideas and work until they come up with a finished project.
5.) Social media as a tool for communication is helpful but it is also a great tool for teaching. In business and marketing courses it is important to teach the value of social marketing. The internet, especially social media sites, represent an entire new target market for certain businesses. It is beneficial for marketing campaigns and establishing a customer base.
1.) Social media allows students to put personal information about themselves online. A teacher should not be encouraging this behavior. Requiring a student to set up a social media account may lead to this unwanted information being put on the web. Even if this is accidental it can be dangerous.
2.) Students may actually accomplish less with the use of these sites. It is difficult as a parent to judge whether a student on a social media site is collaborating with other students or simply chatting and misusing their time. It may be hard to separate how much of it is for fun and how much is devoted to class time.
3.) A teacher cannot monitor what a student says on their own page. If there is an unwanted comment on the page of the teacher they can delete it and punish a student appropriately. If a student were to put something harmful or insulting on their own page the teacher may be able to punish the student but could not force them to remove it.
4.) It is arguably easier to cheat on homework via social networking sites. You could send a private message to another student with the correct answers to the homework. Copying answers off someone else’s paper is wrong, but when you receive an e-mail you have time to re-word information and it may overall come across as collaborating and not as cheating.
5.) One disadvantage of using social media websites for school is that not all students have access to a computer. While the vast majority of students have a computer in their very own bedroom there are still some with more traditional parents. These parents may not also believe that their child has to use the internet, specifically sites like Facebook and Twitter, to accomplish their homework.
Social Media Sites and School
Social media sites can be a great tool for teachers if used correctly. Perhaps having an individual page for each class where simply the assignments are posted incase anyone were to miss a class would be helpful. As long as there is a clear distinction between a school-related account and a personal account there may be a way to incorporate it into school.