Despite the negative opinions held by some with regards to the so-called detrimental effects social media is having on humanity (my grandma for one!), I view it as an enabler, which can be harnessed to add further depth and to better human interactions and relationships.
With that in mind, I would like to share with you an interesting infographic, which looks at the usage of social media in schools and the clear-cut benefits that it offers for teachers, parents, and students alike. The stats clearly indicate that we should be harnessing the opportunities proffered by social media, instead of worrying about clamping down on lunchtime tweeting. In fact, 59% of students who use social networking talk about education topics online, with 50% talking specifically about school work.
Social media has provided us with new channels to build bridges; for teachers, they can use online platforms to create a support network and share ideas. I think it’s very positive to note that 27% of schools have an online community for teachers and administrators.
Not only can teachers use social networks to their personal advantage, but innovative and forward-thinking educators can use it to incentivise good work amongst their students. A social media pilot study conducted in Oregon, revealed a whopping 50% increase in results – a stat not to be scoffed at!
I particularly like the concept of a ‘classroom Facebook page’, which is managed by the teacher and viewed by students and parents. This is an inventive means of fostering a sense of community amongst students, as well as providing a channel for teachers to keep parents up-to-date.
Whether we like it or not the use of social media is on the up, with explosive growth amongst the younger demographics, so we might as well make positive use of it.