Social Networking in the classroom

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/27/social-networking-schools_n_840911.html

 

I am very interested in the concept of allowing Social Networking in the schools as a learning tool. This topic has interested me since becoming aware of all the tools I have utilised with the ICT and Pedagogy course. I found an article of the pros and cons of allowing this tool into the classroom. It is easy to be swayed by the negativity surrounding Social Networking. Research and publicity suggests sites such as Facebook, Bebo and Twitter are creating a generation of self-centered children, who are cyber bullies that lacked the ability to concentrate and communicate appropriately. Leading neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield and psychologist Dr Aric Sigman claimed the current social networking trend could have a negative impact on children’s physiological, emotional and social development (Murray, 2009). However, online networking isn’t necessarily “bad”. Social Networking is gaining positive recognition for encouraging students to use the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop, while enhancing literacy and communication skills, and being utilised in pedagogical approaches as a learning tool in the classroom (University of Minnesota, 2008). Acknowledging this growing popularity of using technology to communicate in this manner has altered the approach teachers are using in their classrooms to retain children’s interest in learning. There seems to be a debate whether or not to utilise this type of learning tool into the curriculum. The types of questions raised were: What about predators? How do you stop explicit images filtering through? Will the students be distracted? I particularly liked the comments at the end of the article. It was quite interesting to learn how many people were fore the concept of implementing Social Networking into the curriculum. I’m still sitting on the fence with this topic. More research for me.

 

 

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