Friday, May 13, 2011

Social Media in Education

Early in my college career, I often sat among my classmates being a bit jealous that many of them had brought some kind of laptop into class. After I was an upper classman, I realized that many of the people who had a laptop spent more time playing solitaire or updating their Facebook status than taking notes or engaging in the lecture.

Today kids in school are even more wired (and I'm not referencing caffeine). They are used to texting, tweeting, updating their status, and jumping from one browser window to the next at alarmingly fast rates. Sometimes it is enough to make my head spin.

I ran across this article in the New York Times today that talks about engaging students through social media. The thought of sitting in an English class talking about an article that we read is pretty interesting to me. One teacher even believes that her class is engaging more students.

I ended up being an English major in college, but I know that some of my high school classes would have been a lot more interesting to me had I had the opportunity to use technology. I fear that people are going to stop printing books in the future, because it is so much cheaper to have a digital copy of things. There is something about holding a book and smelling its musty pages that makes me want to read it. It is inviting.

My parents think it is crazy to have online courses. I participated in some in college, and while they had their unique challenges, I found that I was placed in charge of my education. I couldn't fake reading an assignment and posting something on it. The teacher could see when you were presenting an unsupported argument. And I found that I enjoyed learning more when I could engage myself in something besides a three hour lecture (yes, some of my classes were three hour night classes).

If this actually helps kids learn, what is there to lose? I would be interested to hear from some of you teacher types (I know you are out there) to see if you would be interested in implementing this. Or, tell me how you implement other technologies in your class to save time and money.


Lana said...

I enjoyed the article you linked to this posting. I have no doubt the students today could benefit from this type of learning. They have grown up with so much technology and are able to do a lot at once. It was interesting that in the one classroom there were 8 more students that participated. This seems useful. Technology definatelt poses some interesting options.

Johnny said...

I thought that it was an interesting article too. I wonder if I would have enjoyed (especially) high school more instead of being bored while I was there had I had more technology to play with.