Social Media in the classroom: A Barrier or an Aid to Learning?

social-media-in-education-thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down.jpg (Photo credit to weareteachers.com)

 

Technology has taken gargantuan steps in becoming the primary focus of our lives today. People cannot often be seen without their phones, tablets or laptops. Of course social media is intertwined within all of these outlets of technology (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.) The questions that begs to be answered is “Is social media a distraction or something beneficial for students in the classroom?” Initially the correct answer would seem to lean towards the side of a distraction, as students often use social media for interaction with other students, family or friends, leaving no room for classroom learning via these tools. Social media has also proved to diminish students’ ability to focus in class when they’re tempted to constantly check their phones or tablets for the latest on these social media websites.

With that said social media is not going away anytime soon and it’s assimilation into the classroom is important especially for the students growing up in the era of social media domination. Author of Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom Karen Lederer brings up excellent examples of how teachers can integrate social media into their lesson plans without engaging the distracting aspect of it. For example Lederer brings up using Facebook or twitter to post something that was discussed in class and why it was pertinent to the lesson as a way to earn participation points. Lederer also discusses using class time to create LinkedIn accounts for students, as a way to prepare them for successful employment in the future. These are merely a couple of examples from a comprehensive list of ideas of how one can integrate social media into classroom learning and I believe we need to take a deeper look into making social media a part of learning curriculum’s, particularly after elementary and middle school.

Lederer, Karen. “Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom.” Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom — Campus Technology. Campus Technology, 01 Jan. 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2015.