I just saw an article in the Calgary Herald from this morning, talking about whether or not teachers should be using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their students outside of school hours. After I had a good chuckle about the girl who said all her teachers are awesome, so she wouldn’t mind being friends with them on Facebook, I had another thought.
I think this is a brilliant idea! I’m not saying that teachers should be using these sites to “spy” on their students, but to set up a Facebook group for your class, or a class stream on Twitter, where students can collaborate on assignments, and teachers are able to mediate the conversation.
There is no point in denying that social media is the way people are communicating with each other, so why not embrace the technologies and use them to help educate students? Why not educate students on the benefits and drawbacks of social media, and help them to use it in the best and most effective ways possible? Teachers should be using all tools available to them, going where their students are going, because we know that these kids are spending hundreds of hours each year on social media sites. If we can help educate them at the same time, why wouldn’t we do it??