The rise of social media has been fast and furious. Think about how often people today interact using either a blog, facebook page, or twitter account. If you want to include texting as a part of the social media universe, consider how many people use social media. It’s staggering. One place that is often times a social media-free zone are schools and classrooms. Districts have been slow to allow the use of social media. The reasons that districts bar the use of social media can vary, but usually include 1) security/computer virus issues & 2) inappropriate content. There are some districts, however, that are actively using social media. These districts usually state that 1) it can be a valuable learning tool and 2) students are using it anyway. The challenge of how social media does/does not fit in education isn’t going away anytime soon. As smartphones and tablets take hold, social media is woven into the tapestry and use of any new technologies.
I came across an interesting and thoughtful webpage as I was preparing this blog post and poll. http://socialnetworking.procon.org/ One of the people that I follow (and encourage others as well) on Twitter is Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1). He has compiled some really useful information on technology and social media use, including model AUPs. You can visit his link, http://cybraryman.com/aup.html. I would encourage stakeholders to look at information on sites such as these as they wrestle with what and how social media is used in schools. As with most topics, there are strong points to be made on both sides of the issue. We’d love to hear your feedback as well. Please respond to this poll and/or share a comment on how your district is positioned on the use of social media in schools.