That is correct. Today I read an interesting talk (that was dictated to words) that took place at Penn State University by a Social Media researcher named Danah Boyd. Boyd discussed social networking sites such as the popular Facebook and MySpace. Boyd discussed the properties and dynamics of both sites, including quotes from teens who claim to be avid users. However, towards the end of the discussion, Boyd explains how these certain sites, that seem to be only for friends, could perhaps be learning tools in the classroom. Now, as our society progresses in to the future, these sites are becoming more and more popular. Why couldn’t society utilize these websites that kids are joining every day? Even Boyd (2009) says, “But I want to make one thing clear… Just because youth are using social media doesn’t mean that it can fit well into the classroom. It needs to be thought through pedagogically and you all need to understand how it’s being used in everyday life before bringing it into the classroom.” (Boyd, 2009). I feel that a lot of people in the older generation are confused about these sites due to lack of knowledge or fear of the unknown. It seems that the only media attention these sites obtain are negative reviews due to the new ease of online bullying or “cyber bullying.” Instead, we should invite these sites in to our classrooms, in moderation, of course. As popular as these sites are getting, people are becoming more hesitant to use them for educational purposes for whatever reason. Boyd (2009) claims, “At the end of the day, the biggest disruption brought on by technology has nothing to do with the youth themselves, but with the way in which it forces us to reconsider our position of power as adults. We cannot simply tell it like it is; we need to re-learn how to learn and how to evolve with the changes all around us.” (Boyd, 2009). Evolve with these changes. Students can use these tools as communication vessels, as they are now. However, this will have to be in moderation. We need to understand what todays youth are doing and be able to harness it and insert it in to schools. Using these sites they like so much, perhaps it will attract their attention and make students focus more..
What do you think? Do you think social networking sites could possibly be used in the educational workplace?