GC Speaks: Social Media
Do you think that social media should be used in the classroom? Why or why not? If so, how?
“Yeah, I think so. You could use the trivia function on Twitter.”
-Taylor Higgins and Melissa Kopp
“Yes, you could use it to illustrate ideas, and professors could use it to show how something would relate to the real world.”
“No, It would probably distract people.”
“No, it’d be a distraction.”
“I think it depends on the class.”
For many of us, social media is as much a part of our lives as eating, doing homework, and going to class. We’re checking alerts, updating our status, and commenting on the finer aspects of our life. So, if it’s such a normal aspect of what we do every day, should we consider using it during the times that it’s normally not allowed? How might that benefit us, and how might it prove to be more trouble than it’s worth?
I can see pros and cons to implementing social media in the college classroom. One huge pro would be making it easier for professors and students to communicate. A lot more students would be more likely to notice class announcements if they were delivered via Facebook or Twitter then they would if that same message was only delivered to their Greenville email account. We all know that most of us check our social media far more often than our school email. In addition, community boards could be created on Pinterest to help with research, getting relative subjects together to allow students to help each other out and have information all in the same place. If you start thinking outside of the box, you begin to realize that there are many ways that social media could be used in the classroom in a positive way.
On the other hand, social media might not be that positive of an influence in such a setting. There have been studies that suggest that students from middle school up to high school who are active on Facebook tend to get lower grades. Distractions would be literally everywhere. It’s difficult enough as it is to be able to get your homework done without finding something else on the internet that grabs your attention for ridiculous amounts of time. One click leads to another, and before you know it, your research for that paper on ancient Greeks has become an argument on Twitter over the finer nuances of Doctor Who. Doing your homework, or even just getting the assignment on a social media site, could very easily prove to be fatal as far as distraction and temptations go. How long could you actually resist?
In many ways, I believe that using social media in the classroom should be up to the discretion of the instructor. Every class is different, and with some classes, posting assignments on Facebook could be a pretty bad idea if the prof wants to accomplish anything that semester. With other classes, it might work splendidly. It would take some trial and error to find a system that works well, and even that wouldn’t be foolproof.
So what do you think? Would you want to see social media being used in your class? Or do you think that it would not be a good idea? Why or why not? What strategies can you think that would make social media in the classroom help you, rather than distract you?