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Main | The Internet Is Rewiring Your Brain and You Don’t Even Know It »
Tuesday
Dec312013

Social Media is a Positive Part of Education

Mike Campbell
December, 2013

There is a lot of evidence that social media is being used in the classroom, but is it harmful? Beneficial? Both? It seems to be both. One concern, according to Mark Connolly in Benefits and Drawbacks of Social Media in Education, is that using social media “can subvert higher-order reasoning processes, including the kind of focus, concentration, and persistence necessary for critical thinking and intellectual development.”  Some teachers are blaming poor grades, poor grammar due to text/chat speak, and lack of engagement on using social media.

But in a study incorporating Twitter in the classroom conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement, they found “In addition to showing more than twice the improvement in engagement than the control group, the students who used Twitter also achieved on average a .5 point increase in their overall GPA for the semester.” So, instead of fighting against social media, perhaps it’s time to embrace what our kids are using and help them use it constructively. In Portland, OR, a teacher is doing just that.

Elizabeth Delmatoff integrated social media use in her classes and grades have gone up, attendance is higher, and extra work is being done for no credit. She introduced her students to blog writing. She has them “comment on one of President Obama’s speeches; another day she had them make two-minute videos of something on their walk home that was a bad example of sustainability. These assignments had no credit attached to them.” This is one example of positive social media use in education.

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    I fill in as the Social Media Coordinator for the Los Angeles Recording School and as a feature of the expected set of responsibilities; I talk with graduated class to share their prosperity stories. The graduates who experienced the project and considered it important, buckled down, and did their offer of ...

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