Social media and education
It used to be that the term email is something moms and dads would use. Children do know how to access the internet at a much tender age nowadays and you would normally find them using YouTube or making a search at Google. Children have become too savvy for technology at a very young age and with electronic gadgets banned from being used during class hours. Educators are finding ways to engage their students. In fact, some schools have already ventured forth into social networking to be able to engage their students to learning.
One particular example of this movement is Radiowaves, a social network that is dedicated to schools and ever since it started, it has accounts from 13,000 schools that joined in as members and they are not just found in the UK or the US but all over the continents across the world. For some teachers, the concept of social media had to be embedded into the curriculum if not, be part of the curriculum itself. Social media has already captured the lives of millions of people, connected them to each other and developed a new cyber community that is more intuitive and much stronger than before.
With the Radiowaves account set up in schools, children consider the website as their own, filling them with text, videos, images, podcasts, surveys and so much content and it does not stop to school related activities. Even parents are engaged in the virtual experience and so they can literally see what the children are doing and how social networking and new gadgets serve their purpose for a more engaging school and educational experience.
Aside from learning social networking, children can also learn the basics of ICT which is undeniably a core aspect of many industries be it in corporate life, in the media, finance and commerce. Children are also excited to engage in learning and in actively participating with the help of videos and taking part of the experience. Some schools still block the use of other networking sites but the time will come when tables will be turned. With so much content that can be accessed online and with proper guidance and secure browsing as agreed upon by school boards and parents, web experience at school especially for young children can be fulfilling and ideal.
Of course, there is the question if blurring the lines of professionalism and personal life. As Facebook can be used for notifications, it is necessary for schools to create a professional page dedicated to only delivering information necessary for the students. It will also be necessary to understand that the use of social media does not mean you can develop an informal relationship inside the classroom. It is merely a channel in which children can become active participants to education. The method of using ICT and social networking as embedded in the study habits of children will give them more competency in the world of computers as well as in developing better education, a more collaborative experience and to enable a more global tone to education.