Social Media in Education
There can be no doubt that there has been a huge movement in social media
in all aspects of life, education is no exception. Working in a primary school
there are many rules and regulations about being under the age of 13 and
having a social media account. Although saying that I am always amazed at
how many students under the age of 13 have their own social media accounts.
As a direct result of this it is very important to speak about digital citizenship,
rights and responsibilities with the students.
What we have done in our school is to create a learning platform for all of our
students, creating their own social media accounts, but we as a school can monitor
and administer rights to the various learners. We use both Google Apps for
Education and Microsoft Office 365 so that all students can use either one.
The one great thing is that we have managed to use a single sign on so that the
students do not have to worry about logging onto the one account and then having
to log into a different account to change platforms.
I need to give my age away and mention that while I was at school there were no
computers, Internet or even cell phones, as a result many people in my age group
do not have multiple social media accounts, but normally have one which is
predominately used to stay in contact with friends and family around the world.
As a result there has been a little bit of apprehension with regards to teachers
changing the way in which content is delivered. We have also done extensive
training with our staff so that the students can communicate, chat, upload
assignments, etc with the teacher involved. This has been a great mine-shift for
the teachers, but I believe that it is an important one. It allows staff and students
to work after hours as well as being able to create collaboration projects between
different students so that they can work on at their own time. The students however
think that this is awesome and really enjoy working in this manner.
There are really great advantages to this, going more paperless, students not loosing
their work, parents been able to see the students work and all their assessments,
as well as the dog not eating homework to mention a few.
We have also implemented this into subjects that do not always lend itself to ICT,
namely physical education. Last term the students completed their theoretical
component through social media, namely blogs and wikis.
I do believe that using social media in classrooms is a great way to keep the students
more actively involved and the more things that we do that is aligned to the 21st
century student the easier our jobs as teachers become.