It is an amazing thing that happens when you ask questions that start a conversation larger than you could possibly have imagined. When we started The Portland Project we knew we were sailing in uncharted waters, but we didn’t realize the impact the program would have or the conversation it would fuel.
Yesterday The Portland Project was covered in an article by Mashable entitled, The Case for Social Media in Schools. The conversation that is ensuing because of that article is really quite amazing. Whether you are for or against, conversing and sharing about the issue is the first step in understanding the appropriate use of social media in education.
The highlights of the article state six great reasons why social media is a great tool for use in education.
- Social Media is Not Going Away – Almost three-fourths of 7th through 12th graders have at least one social media profile, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey group used social sites more than they played games or watched videos online.
- When Kids Are Engaged, They Learn Better – Delmatoff says that at first her students were worried they would get in trouble for playing because they actually enjoyed doing activities like writing a blog.
- Safe Social Media Tools Are Available — And They’re Free – Kidblog.org is one of many free tools that allow teachers to control an online environment while still benefiting from social media. Delmatoff managed her social media class without a budget by using free tools like Edmodo and Edublogs.
- Replace Online Procrastination with Social Education – Between 2004 and 2009, the amount of time that kids between the ages of 2 and 11 spent online increased by 63%, according to a Nielson study. And there’s no reason, Meinhardt argues, that schools shouldn’t compete with other social media sites for part of this time.
- Social Media Encourages Collaboration Instead of Cliques – Social media as a teaching tool has a natural collaborative element. Students critique and comment on each other’s assignments, work in teams to create content, and can easily access each other and the teacher with questions or to start a discussion.
- Cell Phones Aren’t the Enemy – “The cell phone is a parent-sponsored, parent-funded communication channel, and schools need to wrap their mind around it to reach and engage the kids,” Meinhardt says.
To read the full article click here: Mashable – The Case for Social Media in Schools
These are all great points with great substantiation for the argument they propose. If you haven’t seen the article, please check it out and then…comment! Get in the conversation. It’s the only way we learn and collaborate.
I’d like to thank Sarah Kessler from Mashable for her time, attention and passion. Without her interest and questions this article would obviously have never happened.