Does Facebook Belong in the Classroom?
We live in the informational era that brings a lot of amazing features into our lives. Could anyone imagine an opportunity to ask for essay help online and get immediate academic advice? Or an opportunity to talk with your peers no matter where you are?
Of course, advantages never come without disadvantages. Teachers face not only new opportunities, but also new challenges connected with technology. And social networks seem to be really difficult to incorporate in the class without making troubles.
Schools do everything to give the best education and protect kids. However, they have to balance between dull conservatism and harmful freedom. But they cannot resist from taking steps into the new world. Experts agree that schools are afraid of technology, however it doesn’t change the fact that social media is invading colleges and schools.
Most schools ban Facebook as well as all applications that provide access to Facebook. However, this limits an access to other useful websites that have nothing to do with distractions and disadvantages of Facebook. For example, if a teacher wants to use the website of American Airlines to explain children how to measure distances – he will got into a trouble because AA has a Facebook page.
There are closed social media that may serve as an alternative to common Facebook and Myspace. These networks are created and controlled by schools and allow members to visit websites, however don’t allow anyone else to enter the network. Most schools prefer such tools as Saywire and Edmodo that fulfill a very important need of communication. These closed systems protect kids and allow them to take part in group conversations, which facilitates their learning. Also, online systems of communication can provide additional guidelines and outlets for students. So curriculum combined with closed social networks can become a great benefit for students as well as for their professors.
Educators can guide and monitor their students more efficiently. However, there is one significant problem – most teachers are ignorant when it comes to modern technology. Schools need to encourage professional development to keep teachers informed and skilled when it comes to technologies.
Both teachers and students should be responsible users of social media. Closed networks allow students and educators share, however both these users have to understand that using technology is a great responsibility. Thus, social networks can become a common practice only when schools will accept online etiquette classes for students and digital literacy classes for teachers.
In a word, social networks can bring amazing benefits to each class, but only if used correctly. Schools cannot adopt networks globally at the moment. Students and teachers need to realize that social media can be something more than just entertainment. Networks can serve as strong educational and communication tools. We just need to accept them and use properly.