Why Social Media Is Not Embraced

November 14, 2011 1:26 pm
I recently read a blog entry on the frustration that more teachers don’t use social media in their classrooms. The writer, a recent college graduate, wondered why? Why is this technology not embraced? It is after all our students’ language. Why do so many schools say “power down” or “lids down?” Or some will say, “using social media has no place in schools. That’s playtime.”
I believe educating our educators is the only way to change the culture of teaching. Many educators fear the unknown or fear they need to be experts before they can implement something new. Or maybe they just feel that traditional methods are still the best solutions to learning. I know many feel so overwhelmed already with their work load, there just simply isn’t any time to implement new techniques. These are all very real and valid concerns.
However, the reality is that the impacts of technology and social media will only continue to develop and grow, and it behooves us as educators to find the time, or encourage administrators to help teachers create some time, to become more knowledgeable about the benefits in using this technology for learning.One interesting rebuttal I heard from a teacher who has “tried” to use social media, said they read a student’s blog, and the blog referenced some YouTube links. “That’s a problem you see,” this teacher mentioned. “YouTube is blocked in schools,” Therefore, they’re “not trying THAT again. What a waste of time. I don’t want to have to constantly work around the schools firewall!” How sad. Giving up after only one try. Imagine if we accepted that from our students.
My social media solution for using videos in the classroom? Use SchoolTube.com, which is not blocked. All content published to SchoolTube must be approved by an educator, who is known as the moderator. SchoolTube is endorsed by every national school administrator organization out there; NASSP, NAESP, and so on. SchoolTube revolutionized the way I implement curriculum to publish student work. It has also influenced certain ways in which our district communicates with the world. And the best yet? Using SchoolTube has transformed some of my students collegeand career paths.

My solution for using other social media tools in the classroom? We use Facebook, Twitter and student blogs in my classroom, all with the tremendous support of our school administrators and parents. The #1 reason? Trust. They trust that my students and I are making the right choices. But trust is a tough trait to come by in public education these days. Tune into MSNBC.com’s Education Nation for those thrilling reports (he says with sarcasm.)

There is another fabulous resource which supports technology in the classroom as well. In fact, its been around for awhile, yet it is receiving a face-lift. iTunes U.  A slew of new resources for K-12 learning will include; Designing and Creating Digital Content, Using Technology and Devices in the Classroom, Applying Digital Content in Disciplines, Administration and Leadership, Assessment and Evaluation and much more. Visit the iTunes U site now for incredible resources.

Still need real, tangible, authentic ways to use social media? Okay, here’s 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom.
The push to have educators use social media is on, and I am happy to help any teacher who would like to join in. Although I don’t consider myself a traditional teacher, I still do believe in one popular traditional saying, which is very relevant today. The train is leaving the station. Either hop aboard, or be left behind.
Do you allow students to create videos in your class? If not, why not? Do you need support to incorporate video in the classroom? I can help with that. Follow me on Twitter @dgoble2001http://about.me/dongoble or email me at dgoble2001@yahoo.com.

What do you think?

  • http://twitter.com/seani seani

    I completely agree with you that we need to get educators using social media but I think you might be missing part of the problem. I have been trying to get fellow teachers to embrace social media for a while now and what I keep hearing is the concern that somebody else will post or link to something inappropriate which will come back on them. Where I work our district is pretty uptight and these are reasonable fears. It seems at least part of this problem would be we need leadership that would support educators going out and using social media rather than warnings about how teachers can get in trouble for using SM. 
    Just another side of this issue. 

    • Dgoble2001

      Thank you for reading the post. I agree with your valid concern as well, which is why teachers who are champions of this technology will hopefully educate our administrators as well. The tools may change, but the student (and educator) learning is what is paramount. 

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