Image

Some of the most used and developed websites on the Internet are social medias. These include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogspot, and many more. As a matter of fact, they are so popular with students in general, that teachers and school staff tend to completely avoid the use of those potentially useful tools. Of course, as for any tool, they flaws, and more than one. Some will say that they distract kids, which is very true. Others will bring forward that the chances of meeting dangerous individuals (cyber bullies, sexual predators, even other kids which would have a bad influence…) are brought high enough to be a very serious concern. Some even question the idea of generalizing the use of social networks for educational based on the fact that not all kids want or know how to use social networks. None of those arguments is groundless.

However while some say this, others bring forward quite a different set of arguments. On the more positive side, we could for instance say that those social networks can easily work as links between the students, or between these students and their teacher. For example, when using Facebook, students can help each others on harder questions, they can ask questions to the teacher efficiently and with less feelings of stress and fear of being judged, or they can have an easier time synchronising their group work, even if they cannot meet. Another idea would be to use this site, or Twitter, to post homework assignments, or even, maybe, make an assignment involving those social networks.

Many more arguments from each side may come in and change someone’s views on the subject, but whenever the school decides that, yes, they want to use the social networks, some principles should be followed. First, students should taught about Internet safety, and an online guideline should be followed, telling them what is wrong and what is right to do on social networks. “Why?”, might you ask. The answer is quite simple. Kids do not always understand what is good or bad on Internet. They do not come into the world, knowing how to act on social networks. This has to be learned; and it is part of the school’s duties to help the students understand this information. As much as parents should teach their children how to stay safe and socially open on social networks, teachers are, too, “parental figures”, even more if the kid is very young. They are a part of the chain of learning, and should act as such.

Advertisements