The GTCS professional guidance on social media and the way it is used in classrooms identifies the rise of social media’s power in todays education and the importance of the teacher introducing this to their pupils to enhance their learning.
Social media is infused with a number of different benefits including, when used correctly, it allows children a safe way to communicate with one another. They can, for example, talk to one another of what they learnt that day and build friendships. These interactions can build a child’s confidence in the way the approach their learning and immerses them in the digitised world from an early age, making them more aware of their surroundings as they develop.
I believe that teachers have a very important role in portraying the importance of social media to their pupils. I believe, in order to do this we, as the curriculum’s fresh faced teachers, must first marry the personal vs professional outlook to social media, ourselves. These days, children have the knowledge to make a few simple clicks and find their teachers on social media sites for example, Facebook. To me, the way a professional, such as a teacher, displays themselves on these sites is vital. It is in the best interests for all teachers to adapt the private outlook to social media and ensure that everything accessible is of the correct content, privatised and displays themselves as a professional.
However, I do find that the digitised world lacks a space in which parents, pupils and teachers can work and correspond to one another cooperatively. The mainstream social media sites: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are too personal and can easily cause problems. However, the educational targeted social media sites e.g- Glow I feel, seems too educational and there is no way for pupil’s to express their likes, dislikes and include both the teachers and parents all at once. This would be an idea to take forward in the progression of the online world and digitised space we are exposed to as teachers.
I believe that a class teacher should propose a class blog. To which, all parents and pupils can contribute to. This would keep parents in the loop of their children’s education and homework. It would also allow the pupils to gain the skill of peer assessment through commenting on one another blog posts.
The media is infested with stories to prevent the use of social media in classrooms. From the misuse of certain websites on behalf of the teacher/pupils, to the wrong video link being displayed to the class. To me, these stories are only there to scare those wishing to embark into the digitised space. Instead of holding back because of the threats we should be embracing that sometimes mistakes do happen. Aren’t we encouraging children to not be scared and that mistakes are part of a healthy education? Then how can we do so if we too are afraid of embracing new learning technology?
We should focus on encouraging pupils to embrace technology and enforce how to use it correctly. We can now set up links with classrooms worldwide which is a concept which excites me. Children can learn easily about different cultures and countries through conversing with classrooms worldwide.
I believe that we, as teachers, should be embracing social media/technology and using it to our advantage to strengthen our pupils’ knowledge of society in general. Instead of hiding away because of the very few problems that may arise from its use.