Learning is changing. The way technology allows us to get information and share information certainly conflicts with the old school vision of what education is. We as teachers are not the “all knowing” in fact there are several students in my classroom who have taught me a thing or two about media. Kids are proficient with technology like video games, cell phone, YouTube and even Google … they see the world differently. Robbins-Bell feels that there are many benefits of learning available via social media and “if we don’t embrace the shift we will get left behind”. Until beginning this class I thought I was doing well but I now realize that I have just been treading water when it comes to media literacy and my students. We have to understand it to teach it.
The podcast worked through a comparison of Institutional Education vs Social Media. So what does institutional education offer? First it offers membership to groups like social clubs and extracurricular activities. It also offers intellectual discussions and access to resources and experts. Finally it offers its official endorsement. When you graduate you gain the stamp of approval from that institution. How does this compare to social media? Social Media offers an opportunity of self-expression things like Flickr provide a forum for individuals to express themselves. It also offers a place to be with other people who share common interests. This also means that in many places on social media people are reviewing, commenting, critiquing articles / stories that have been created (the peer review process in real time). Also, like an educational institution Social Media offers access to experts and personalities. The big difference is the vast amount of people available increases exponentially. Social media also offers an opportunity to enhance personal and professional reputations by providing a place where you can build your portfolio online. This could lead to future opportunities without the stamp of approval from an institution.
Social media changes how we can reach people and how many people we can reach. If all communication is education wouldn’t we we want students to learn through exchanging ideas via Social Media? It’s true that in a classroom sometimes we need to have a lecture style lesson happened but two way communication is much more valuable as a learning opportunity by giving a voice to each student.
Robbins – Bell highlights that when using Social Media is important that educators remember that we are not the gatekeepers of knowledge. Our role as educators is critical:
- We need to teach students to learn in an “information economy”. This means we need to teach him that access to information is there right and their responsibility. We also have to give them the skills and tools that they need in order to look it up and analyze the information.
- We need to teach students the importance of contributing to community. They are global citizens connected through media.
- We need to be able to relate to our students as co-creators. We need to shift from the mindset of doing this because I said so and become the guys to shave their own paths.
- We need to ensure that they have the skills to interpret the information that there discovering and offer them a place to bring back their learning and share with the group.
- Social media in the classroom offers us an opportunity to report activities throughout the day.
On the flip side of all of this do we want our students to be constantly “connected” or should school provide a place to spend time ‘offline’? or is this just the thinking of an educator who they themselves do not use a lot of social media and are uncomfortable?
Don Goble strongly advocates using social media in the classroom. ives us something to think about as he advocates social media in the classroom.
Students communicate, research, collaborate, create and publish with or without parents or educators”. So doesn’t it make sense that we would want to use social media in the classroom to capitalize on this learning? When we feel a conflict with the new technology we are feeling a conflict with how we view education and knowledge and how we gain education.
I have shied away from using social media in the classroom but have started the journey with my students. The more I read and see examples of how others are embracing blogging, twitter and other forums with students and parents, the more encouraged I am to try it in my classroom. Today we posted our first classroom story in the news feed on our ClassDojo and they were so proud. Small steps right?