I had the question yesterday from an IT Director (one that I have been asked several times) about the “issues” that happen when you open up social media in schools. He told me about a principal that said that they continuously deal with issues because of Facebook, Twitter, etc. (remember…the sites are not the issue but the behaviour) and the principal said that it would be easier if they shut it down. He then asked me how I would deal with it.
The first thing that popped into my head was this video of kids that aren’t any good at playing hide and seek:
This video really made me think that many believe if we close our eyes, nothing bad is happening.
In fact, if we shut down social media in schools, we are less likely to teach our kids how to use that sites safely and effectively, and students are more likely to make mistakes. Isn’t education the main way we solve problems in our society or are we adopting “ignoring stuff” as the new solution?
Recently, I did an interview on this very topic and the host said that my logic on this topic was similar to getting kids to drink with parents at home.
When the adults in the room say things like this, it first of all terrifies me, and then makes me realize they have not seen the positive impact that social media can make on their lives and the lives of others. I was so glad to see that Global Television recently wrote an article and shared a video on the work we are doing in PSD70, and more specifically, the classroom of Kelli Holden and her grade 4 students, to inform the public that there are a lot of positives that can come from the effective use of social media.
With anything, there is good and bad. Ignoring teaching our kids about this medium is not going to help them in any way to see the positives and we can’t just say, “not our problem” anymore. If we only teach the curriculum to our kids, we have failed. It is imperative that we work with our students to be people that follow their passions, be positive citizens, and make a difference in their world now, not the world we lived in as kids.