By: Karsyn Scherer
In the recent years the debate of utilizing social media in schools has been an increasing topic. Like most people, I see the pros and the cons of technology utilized in school systems.
I appreciate and value the immediate gratification that social media can give students when researching for their homework and class projects. I also see the value that social media can play in group projects. It can be difficult to collaborate with a group, but social media allows access to partner’s Facebook pages, Twitter sites and more for constant communication. “When students have questions about a class assignment they can easily post a message asking if anyone can help,” School Is Easy said in a post about social media in schools. Also, teachers are human and make mistakes. If they forget to mention significant information in class, they can post to their social media site and get the word out before the next class without wasting any time.
However, while I notice the positive side of social media in schools, I also acknowledge the negatives. Introducing or keeping social media in schools means that students are at a disadvantage if they do not have Internet access. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a smart phone, a laptop or a tablet. We cannot simply disregard their education. Also, some students get easily distracted by social media and it could take away from their learning. Most importantly, social media can increase bullying. Bullying and depression has increased in the recent years due to access to cyberbullying. Teach Thought posted that “The Cyberbullying Research Center reports that in 2010, 20 percent of students reported being the victims of cyberbullying, and just as many admitted to being cyberbullies.” Students used to be able to escape their bullies when they got home from school, but now there is no outlet.
After reviewing both sides, I suspect that it is most beneficial for schools to use social media. Multiple careers require knowledge in social media and therefore students should learn smart skills while in school. However, to cut down on distractions and bullying, social media should be monitored through schools or parents. Social media is becoming more and more prevalent in school systems and I do not see it decreasing anytime soon.
Figure 1 Graphic from Langwitches