As the video pointed out, most people (including me) when hearing the words “social media” immediately think of sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.But after learning from this module and thinking more about it, I realize that social media is so much more. It is a chance for strangers to connect in a way that they never would have been able to before. It is a place for inspiration, for cultivating creativity, and for creating a deep space to share.
I have grown up in a generation that thrives off of sharing personal lives and thoughts with the world. In my own life, I have loved the role that social media plays. I get to share my experiences and thoughts with my friends in an instant. I get updates from friends that I don’t talk to everyday, or don’t get to see. I participated in a German exchange program in high school, and grew very close to the Germans on the trip. If it weren’t for social media through Instagram and Facebook, it would take much more effort to stay updated on their lives that probably just isn’t feasible for this busy time in my life right now. It is just so easy now to stay connected. This generation uses social media to get news about their friends, the community, the country, and even the world. Clay Shirky discussed how social media forced Obama into doing a press conference. If social media forced the president of the United States into action, that shows the power that it has over the people.
Social media has made schools bigger. Education is not just on one chalkboard anymore- any classroom can reach out to the entire world, regardless of what age the students are, because of social media. For example, students can do a project and Youtube it, and get feedback from people in China. Social media plays a huge role in the future of education. Many schools are quick to rule out the use of social media in the education environment, but with the right censoring and use it has potential to skyrocket potential for learning.
In my future classroom, I see social media playing a role. As we saw in the video module that was news to me, there are kid friendly blogs that teachers can use. I am still in favor of traditions and learning how to write pen to paper, but I would love to see my classes work on blogs where they add their thoughts and reflections based on a book we are reading, a discussion we had in class, a group presentation, and so on. Social media is also really exciting for teachers because there is no paper trail. There is no way to lose a student’s work if it is all online. It is also a cool idea to involve other kinds of social media where the students would post something- they are going to use social media regardless of whether it is allowed or not, and so teachers might as well cultivate it for the good of education.
Social media is a promising way to motivate students in class and to expand one classroom’s education into a worldwide phenomenon.