The school of social networking

057With students glued to Facebook rather than paying attention in class, teachers begin to wonder if they could teach better using a social network instead. Social media and e-learning may be useful, but Facebook is by no means universal. The belief that everyone is using sometimes lead to further exclusion of more people than we realize.  There are four people in my household and each of us prefer different sites. Only two of us have Facebook accounts (I am one of those and I pay scant attention to it). Everyone follow the sites where discussions center around their interests, and the number of sites is growing. Forums are set up so viewers can see only what they want to on sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr.

Social media is a tool of technical tool; it can be viewed passively without any involved from the viewer.  The person posting on YouTube most often does not know who views or is affected by their video. Success is measure quantitatively, but number of hits – with impact remaining unknown. It does not require the relationship skills of setting expectations, giving encouragement and watching out for others – it is not the silver bullet to fix the problem with the school system. I instruct students in technology whenever I can because it is a necessary skill – but there are a lot of things (especially when it comes to pedagogy) that digital natives do not know and cannot learn even with the most sophisticated program. As my son the programmer pointed out all artificial neural networks are based on what humans have programmed and contain human errors.

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