Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
EdTech

The Pros and Cons of Teaching Social Media in the Classroom

The Pros and Cons of Teaching Social Media in the Classroom

By Kirby Lorenzen

reading too much? Whooos ReadingLast year the New Jersey school system began incorporating social media lessons into their curriculum.

Since the announcement, there has been a range of reactions from the community: some find this change to be somewhat disconcerting, especially considering that it’s likely just a matter of time before other states follow suit and start teaching Social Media 101.

“It’s likely just a matter of time before other states follow suit and start teaching Social Media 101.”

Those who are worried are not wrong to be feeling this way—bringing social media into the classroom is widely uncharted territory. Luckily, a little education often goes a long way in making something new seem a little less scary.

Before you form your opinion, learn about the importance of bringing social media lessons into schools and how it could affect kids, both positively and negatively.

The Impact on Safety and Kids’ Perspectives

Pro

Assuming that most kids will join the social media world eventually, teaching students how to use various platforms properly provides them with guidance on how to navigate this medium safely and seamlessly.

For example, teaching social media in the classroom gives students the tools they need to handle or react to a number of social media dangers like cyberbullying, sexting, peer pressure and online predator contact.

Nearly half of kids have regretted something they posted on social media, according to McAfee, making this an opportunity to teach students about how to make wise decisions with their conduct on these platforms as well.

More: What Do Your Students’ Digital Footprints Look Like?

Con

The change might inadvertently encourage students to join social networks sooner than they might have otherwise.

The Takeaway

Kids are already active on a number of social networks, and peaking the interest of a small number of children who aren’t is a small price to pay when you consider the benefits of learning how to handle digital dangers.

By teaching students how to broach the perils that often come along with social media, you improve the chances that they’ll have a safer and more positive experience.

How it First Into School Curricula as a Valid Subject

Pro

The knowledge kids learn at a young age follows them into adulthood. While social media teaches “real world” subject matter, which is a bit different than the lessons of traditional school subjects, social media is now something students need to learn about, just like math or history, because 73 percent of adults use social media in some way.

Social media skills are also quickly becoming an important aspect in hiring. “Indeed.com found that jobs requesting Instagram skills were up 644 percent from 2012, and those searching for Twitter experience was up 44 percent. The term ‘social media’ rose 28 percent,” according to VentureBeat.com.

Social media may also help students get jobs and maintain professional relationships later in life. There are currently 3 million job listings on LinkedIn and a whopping 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates.

Learning these skills early on will help them in the future, both socially and professionally.

Con

Adding social media lessons into the school curriculum means that time learning other subjects, like math and English, could be infringed upon. There are only so many hours in one school day, and there are plenty of objectively important subjects that already compete for time in the classroom.

The Takeaway

It’s difficult to ensure that adding social media to current curricula won’t take away from other subject studies, but there are some ways to fit everything in.

For example, schools can incorporate social media activities into other subjects’ lessons. Teachers can have students Tweet their responses to an English discussion or use Facebook groups to conduct group projects.

Incorporating social media into these studies seems to be a fair way to achieve that happy medium. It’s also worth noting that there are skills still being taught that many would consider outdated and replaceable, including cursive (for districts that still teach it) and typewriting.

How It Could Influence Parents’ Behavior

Pro

Bringing social media into the classroom can encourage parents to have more constructive conversations with their kids about the topic. Since children would be learning about it on a consistent basis, it presents an opportunity to make the subject less of an argument and more of a conversation between kids and parents.

Con

On the other hand, some parents may feel that there’s no need to teach anything further on the matter, assuming that the job is being done in school.

Our Takeaway

It’s easy to see both sides of the argument for parents. However, with the prevalence and importance of social media increasing with each passing year, it could be safer to set a basis of education for all students regardless of how parents approach the ongoing education.

Schools can use this as an opportunity to communicate that continued guidance is crucial at home as well.

There are many angles and aspects to consider when thinking about how bringing social media into the classroom could impact kids. With all of the possibilities before us, it will surely be interesting to see how schools move forward with implementation.

Do you think schools should teach social media in school? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

Pin It!

Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom

WRforSchools
View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: How to Expand Your Personal Learning Network with Social MediaLearn2Earn Blog

  2. Sophia Harris

    July 4, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Using social media in classroom is always beneficial. I always insist teachers and professor to allow students using social media in classroom and teach them how it is benefited for their education also.

  3. Pingback: Internet Safety: Teaching Students to Think Before They Post | Educational technology | Learn2Earn

  4. Pingback: EDU255: Blog Post#3 | Ms. Potter's English Class

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EdTech

More in EdTech

learning websites

10 Awesome Learning Websites to Inspire Curiosity in Students

Dominic GibsonApril 9, 2018
VR in the classroom

10 Practical Uses of VR in the Classroom

Bob HandMarch 23, 2018
critical thinking apps

8 Critical Thinking Apps for K-12 Students

Whooo's Reading Blog TeamMarch 19, 2018

10 Best Android Coding Apps for Students

Farid GasimMarch 1, 2018
3d printing

10 Things Teachers Should Know About 3D Printing

Jonathan GrossFebruary 13, 2018
how to videos

10 Interactive Tools for Students to Create How-To Videos

Farid GasimJanuary 25, 2018
More in EdTech
photography apps for education
6 Photography Apps and Ideas for the Classroom

By Lauren Steinmann A picture is worth a thousand words—especially in the classroom. As a Digital Learning Coach, I work...

Close