One of the great debates when it comes to social media use is brewing in the classroom. Those who advocate using social media in the classroom discuss ways the platform benefits the teachers, students, and even the parents. Those who oppose schools using social media argue that it’s inappropriate use of the school’s money and a waste of time for students.
Pro: Creates a New Form of Communication
Image via Flickr Teacher McKinley
One of the biggest advantages to introducing social media in the classroom is that it creates a new form of communication between students and teachers. Students these days are practically born with a mouse, tablet, or mobile device in their hands. They are constantly connected to the Internet.
When teachers and parents can tie this constant Internet activity in with their educational needs, it can open up a communication channel for students and teachers to discuss assignments and obtain answers to questions. Study groups can form and entire classrooms can have discussions that reach beyond the walls of the classroom.
Con: Could Cause Cyber Bullying
One of the primary concerns about permitting social media in the classroom is the chance for cyber bullying. It is a major problem that is affecting schools, students, teachers, and parents across the nation. However, with proper policies, and monitoring, teachers and parents can control cyber bullying so that it doesn’t become an issue on top of face-to-face bullying. If social media is in the classroom, the teacher has full control of exchanges between students which should deter bullies.
Pro: Boosts Social Skills and Camaraderie
Socializing is an important skill that students must acquire along with learning to read, write, and solve math problems. This can be especially helpful to students that are too shy to ask questions or start discussion in a face-to-face scenario. Students can ask one of their classmates or teachers questions via a social media group or network through a reliable internet provider like Century Link Deals. This can start to form a bond between students that can then spark an offline relationship. Positive feedback via the social media platform may also begin to encourage the student to speak-up in class.
Con: Creates a Space for Inappropriate Activities
Another concern is that social media creates a platform for inappropriate behavior. This can include posting racial comments, rude jokes, and sharing racy photos with other members of the group. It can also be as innocent as asking each other out on dates or using the platform for personal matters that don’t pertain to school. Again, this is all controllable when the school has a policy in place and then monitors the platforms to make sure everyone is abiding by the rules.
As is the case with most hot issues, introducing and using social media in the classroom raises many questions that spark a great debate between advocates and the opposition. When you weigh the debate arguments, it is possible to see both sides. It is also possible to turn the negatives of introducing social media to students into positive attributes that benefit them far more than harm them.
Emily Green is a freelance writer with more than six years’ experience in blogging, copywriting, content, SEO, and dissertation, technical and thesis writing.