Putting The ‘Book’ in Facebook (2 of 2)

Social Media’s Positive Role in Education


Courtesy of MorgueFile user JessicaGale

Modern communications have come a long way.

[Ed. note: This article is part two of two.]

In the last article, we went over the wide variety of negative effects social media brings to the table in schools. However even with the negative effects, there are still a variety of positive effects in school settings, such as our increased ability to absorb information.

Something that would seem insane to someone 30 years ago could probably be processed easily by a social media user today. This kind of information absorption can prove very beneficial in a school setting, especially with increased standards that come with modern education reform.

Even something as simple as a service like Remind.com allows individual teachers and coaches to send text-message “blasts” to their subscribers, about things like homework or a sports practice.  Best estimates here at Indian River High School indicate that 80 to 85% of students have a phone with them daily; Remind.com lets teachers communicate directly with students in ways that clunky web pages (which rely on students to do the checking) cannot.  Several teachers here, from Math, English, and Science departments, all use the service.

Another positive effect of embracing new forms of communication is the increased exposure to a variety of age-ranges found on sites such as Facebook, which helps younger students find a sense of direction, and can help immensely in goal-setting.

And finally, with social media comes a voice for many students. Earlier in the year, Denver school districts protested a controversial board decision that would have limited what they learned in history courses through a combination of real-life activism and online activism, spreading word about the cause through Facebook pages and the long-trending hashtag #JeffcoStandup.

Many schools are beginning to use social media to reach out to students and alumni, along with engaging the community. One example is Harvard University. Harvard has a very active Twitter presence, and is frequently advertising campus events and deadline dates on Facebook.

So the question isn’t ‘is education affecting today’s education?’ the question is ‘how is education affecting today’s education?’