How can this be remedied? What safeguards do we need to put in place? How do we help parents grapple with these issues?
This week I will be discussing the very controversial topic of social media and its role in the classroom. Much like Sherry Turkle points out in her TED talk above, there is much irony in the fact that I am a very proud Ed Tech teacher who often shys away from social media use in her classroom. However, I have seen first hand of the many problems that have risen with this obsession with phones and social media among today's students.In my classes, I always have those students whose phone is glued to their palm of their hand, that they coyly attempt to text, listen to music or check social media while in class. This inability to "tune out" and focus worries me. In the past I have tried having social media accounts for my class, (IG/Facebook/Twitter etc) however, I have learned that often times it becomes an excuse for students to justify their own activity on social media in class.
With this being said, the key to using social media in school as a learning resource lies in specific expectations and function in conjunction with coursework, projects and assignments. For example, on my previous blog posts I explained that I allow students to use Snapchat, with their filters, to film themselves for the introduction of the Me Videos. However, student need to film then save to their camera, then upload to Google Drive to have their footage uploaded in WeVideo ready to edit.
Another example that I use on a regular basis with my Broadcasting students is that if they would like to film interviews with teachers, students, coaches, or admin using their phones, they must do so using outside of class (break, lunch, or after school) using Google Drive so the footage saves automatically and is ready to upload to WeVideo for editing.
As stated in the Jeremy Riel's book Thinking Pedagogically, "It is important to use apps with a purpose in mind and not to just because "it's cool with the kids." (2017 p.10)