Social Media in the Classroom

Social media sites can be used in many different settings, including the classroom. There can be many benefits and downsides of using social media sites in a classroom. For instance, what age group is it appropriate to use and not to use social media in a classroom? Or, are certain social media sites more appropriate than others in a classroom setting?

To me, the use of social media in a classroom is overall beneficial if used correctly. Some of the benefits of using social media in a classroom include increased classroom engagement and participation, it is more relative to the students, and it encourages a different way to learn classroom material. However, there can be negatives such as an increase is classroom distraction and more opportunities for unpleasant or inappropriate behavior.

I believe the use of certain sites and age groups can maximize the success of social media in the classroom. For example, Facebook is an extremely personal social media website. On Facebook, you can see extensive pictures and details about a person. You can even see when they were born and who they are related to. These are reasons why Facebook is probably not the best social media site to be used for a public classroom interaction activity. Something like Twitter may be a more suitable network due to its less descriptive profile for its users. Much less can be shared, and there is even a limit on the number of characters for each post. Twitter would be a great social media sites for a teacher to make a profile for herself or himself, or even for the whole entire class to post tweets to. Hashtags can be used to unite the tweets of students in the class and can all correspond to the topic of study.

Another factor that is important to whether or not social media should be used in the classroom is the age group that is using it. A classroom full of fifteen-year-olds may really enjoy the use of social media within the classroom, but may not hold the maturity to stay on task. Age especially comes into play when talking about middle schoolers. Some may have social media profiles and some may not, which could make people feel left out and obligated to get a profile even though middle school is a very young age to have a public account for oneself.

Overall, there are plenty of pros and cons of using social media inside the classroom. Before an instructor decides to use it or not to use it, many different aspects should be considered and how it may have an effect on the dynamic of the classroom.

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