Schools helping students use social media for communication are finding that rather than being a waste of time, social media tools help students remain connected and organized.

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At Mansfield High School, Peter Lally is president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter, vice president of the class of 2018 and a member of the cross country team.  He finds that Twitter is his favorite social media site, because it helps him connect to other students, allows him to read the news, and be efficient about it. He posts the honor society’s schedule of meetings on Twitter which copies to the Facebook page, and checks the news through the trending tab.

“I use Twitter for everything,” Lally said. “I’m super busy and social media is really convienient.”  He’s not alone; many high achieving students use social media as a tool for communication and learning. The Pew Research Center found that 67 percent of Americans get daily news from updates on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Most schools still have policies that block some parts of social media on school computers and networks.  The reason is rooted in the uncertainty that change would bring.

“There is a concern about making sure that we’re not creating opportunities for students during the school day to engage in things they shouldn’t be engaging in,” said Mary Watkins, Mansfield High School principal.

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