The Debate Surrounding Social Media and Educators
Should schools limit social media or get with the times?
Educators and students have been trying to figure out the proper use of social media in the classroom since MySpace debuted in 2003. Many schools still block some social media sites based on policies formed during the beginning days.
While some schools and districts are banning social media, others are embracing its use. One district in the U.K. is recruiting inspirational teachers to be social media ambassadors to help boost enrollment numbers.
While evidence mounts that social media can take a toll on some children’s emotional wellbeing, there are still advocates for using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as tools for learning to present their work to a public audience.
Social media policies in education have been debated ever since before the first time a teacher tweeted out a picture of her lunch. Some districts ban teachers from friending students on social media, while others embrace it as a tool to keep kids up-to-date on assignments, homework and schedules.
While it is true that there have been some high-profile scandals involving teachers and social media that have led to suspensions, it isn’t wise to craft social media policies that punish all teachers and students due to the actions of a few.
A common sense approach to social media can go a long way toward improving the communication between educators and students by harnessing the power that social media has over kids today.