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Addressing Social Media Behavior in the Classroom
posted by: Ruthie | November 12, 2013, 03:32 AM   

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instragram, SnapChat, or one of the many other apps or social networks, students across the country are engaging in social media activity daily. While these mediums constantly evolve and allow students plenty of learning opportunities, teachers should also recognize potential challenges.

On one hand, social networks can open many new doors for students. Whether it’s a forum on chemical bonds or a means of helping students connect with other cultures, social media allows students to see past their school and community. One study found that young people were more likely to help others after playing social video games as opposed to working alone.

On the other hand, social media has been linked to depression, isolation, technology addiction, bullying, and narcissism. While a teacher can only scratch the surface of the complicated world of social media, engaging students in social media best practices can give them a leg up on their peers.

A recent New York Times article, They Loved Yor G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets, discusses the increasing number of colleges that follow applicants via Facebook or Twitter. While it is difficult to monitor activity,  a social media lesson can start with a discussion on personal branding and an education on what is an acceptable virtual presence.

For example, students at one Massachusetts high school are taught to delete alcohol-related posts or photographs and to create socially acceptable email addresses for future college applications or resumes. Other teachers stress the importance of privacy and safety with young students.

The fact is social media is not a fad, nor is it decreasing in popularity. Teaching students how it can affect their academic futures is a great spring board for addressing this issue.

Do you address social media use in your classroom?
Comment below.


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