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How can you assess the benefits of social media for education?
Transcript of How can you assess the benefits of social media for education?
"there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month." (Zuckerberg, 2012) Globalization and digital convergence have created a need for social media to be included in numerous aspects of life, such as business, schooling and social interactivity . Today global businesses operate with ease as a result of the emergence of technology and social media. The emergence of tools such as email, conference video calls and social media have made global business common and extremely successful (Dwyer, 2010). Almost all jobs in current society involve the use of social media. This is why many educators believe that teaching social media needs to be integrated into modern schooling (Kraft, 2010) Traditionally students have been taught skills such as how to write a letter, an essay or a newspaper article. Whilst these skills are still relevant Kraft (2010) argues that skills such as emailing, podcasting, video editing and website design should be included in all school curriculums in order to best prepare students for life after school. Teaching social media in the classroom doesn't mean large amounts of change in how teachers educate (which is what most schools and teachers are afraid of). There are many ways in which social media can be incorporated into classroom learning.
It can be as simple as emailing students their homework
or more complicated, tasks can be set where students are asked to create a piece to be published on social media (i.e YouTube video, blog post, or a digital artifact just like this task)
Most schools have libraries where students are taught how to find books. Realistically current students and students of the future will get almost all of the information from the internet or social media. As a result of this they should be taught how to find reliable information for school assignments and projects (Not Wikipedia)
There are many social media websites designed for students and teachers. One example of this is spellingcity.com. This website is a social media site where teachers set students spelling games and tasks to to complete at home.
The site enables students and parents to message their teacher or classmates about work that has been set. Students results are graphed and put into statistics for the teacher and student to view. This allows both the teacher and the
student to see improvement and areas that need attention. The role of social media for teachers According to Papandrea (2012), approximately 73% of students use some form of social media. This can include Facebook, Twitter, or for primary aged students, Club Penguin, etc.
Due to this, many have decided to incorporate social media into their classrooms. Many have found this to be a great success! Papandrea (2012) states that teachers have found social media to:
Assist with teacher-student communication outside of class hours.
Through sites such as Facebook, be able to work on group assignments from home.
Assist students who are too shy to speak in class to participate in class discussions. Social media not only allows easier communication between students and teachers, but also helps develop the ICT skills of the class (Ethos, 2012).
Ethos also states that students are becoming more interested in learning online rather than through text books. However, there are disadvantages to social media for teachers.
Huitsing and Veenstra (2012) state that social media could have a negative impact on teaching due to cyber-bullying. If bullying occurs online, the teachers would have no evidence of its occurrence without a larger amount of investigation.
Students who are too afraid to speak up may never receive help from teachers which may have been possible if the bullying occurred in the playground or classroom. Positive and negatives of social media in education POSITIVES Connolly (2011), admits that social media show value in educational settings, if used prudently. POSITIVES - Social media is one positive features which can benefit students with distanced education. Before, printing of materials and delivery of texts was required. Through social media, materials can be transferred with no waiting time and with no costs. Teachers can also enhance their discussion with students who live further away, through applications like Skype where teachers can monitor students during school hours or during tests (Jessy, 2012).
- Social media can be used to access unlimited amounts of information from not only class groups online but from blogs or online magazines. This would enhance greater knowledge for the student (Wankel, 2012) - Communication and the collaboration of class mates is important in the classroom. Social network has increased the quality of collaboration of students as they are able to transfer information quickly, helping in group work (Dunn, 2011).
- One of the great advantages of social media is the potential to connect the students and the teachers outside of the classroom. By sharing homework and other necessary materials gives students to instigate positive homework and study skills and habits (Dunn, 2011) NEGATIVES - Social media can destabilize higher order reasoning procedures, such as concentration and their persistence for critical thinking and cognitive development (Connolly, 2011)
- Distraction for students when on the Internet is highly likely. Monitoring and the amount of time used on the Internet should be applied to assure that students are using their time wisely to explore the benefits of social media for their educational needs.
- As the Internet is a growing community security on the Internet especially on social media sites are challenging. Teachers who use social media as a form of education need to create a system of anti-bullying. If security is not thought through thoroughly there are potential of bullying which can harm the teacher and the class. Although there are arguments on whether the Internet would form a negative and hostile environment Wankel (2012) believes that the Internet if used properly can enhance learning for students as they are already comfortable and heavily involved in social media. Case Study:
Mathletics According to the website: However, research has presented some opposing points of view.. Counter Play Screen Shot taken after Google searching "Mathletics Cheats" In digital online gaming, there has been a long and developed history of cheating and counter play, as seen in Consalvo, 2007 and Dyer-Witheford. Within Mathletics, forms of counter play include leaving the game on the easiest settings, avoiding completing allocated playing time due to falsely stating the server or internet access being down, and playing for the sole intent of accumulating points to develop credits for avatar character improvements. These can be achieved through multitasking – merely minimising non-work related windows when a parent or teacher approaches, (Shepherd et al., 2006) and partaking in the use of “hacks” to gain free credits through visiting forums, websites and watching youtube videos on how to do so. Counter Play Hertz (2002) deciphers that this accretion of value through points, or ‘leveling up’, is used to quantify shifts in understandings of leisure-time within digital economies from notions of idleness or waste to industriousness.This can be a positive factor in that the student spends more time completing games that surpasses what has been allocated to them, however in combination with going through the easiest levels in order to gain the maximum amount of points for their Mathlete, in the shortest amount of time, the line between productiveness and leisure or procrastination is crossed. Counter play while developing the status of the student in comparison to others in the online came is a hindrance to the initial concept by developers. By placing students in direct competition in an online environment where physical interaction is not necessary, it increases desires to appear more advanced than peers through methods of Counter Play. Counter Play Cont. Uncertainty revolving around levels of Unconstructive Play and Constructive Learning Nansen et.al 2012 has explored through a conduction of multiple interviews of parents and students, uncertainty in the relationship between play and learning through the application. The design of the platform has implied the site to be a game in which children can play to gain achievements and personalise their profile, whilst the educational factor is merely the means to achieve these desired goals and not the main focus for students logging onto the website. This is not true for all students, with some indicating that they “… prefer Live Mathletics because it’s challenging” (interviewee, “Lee” within Nanson et.al 2012). Also coinciding with the method of “Counter Play”, students interviewed universally chose the easiest level (i.e. the Addition activity on the easiest level consists of addition with numbers between 0-10) in order to personalise their profile, as this was perceived to be the easiest way to accumulate points. In addition to bypassing the learning aims of the game, the student who has completed their allocated work may ask others to play on their behalf due to impatience with their pace of earning credits to fund their personalisation “shopping”. This tactic can be monitored by teachers however as the game is able to be accessed through the home, and not merely at school, it is not an easy feat to accuse and offer some form of punishment for misuse of the site’s intentions.As Nansen et.al state, “These playful tactics involved subverting the program conventions or expectations of progressing through the maths curriculum.” Interesting. Mathletics as a platform for commercialisation, education and leisure Whilst primarily presenting as an online site of educational interactivity for school children which is engaging as the line between education and leisure can become blurred, Mathletics is also a commercially created and marketed product with a specific target market in mind. It incorporates educational concerns such as those seen in Seiter (2005), parental anxieties i.e. Livingstone (2009) all in accordance with commercialised interests as shown in Chung and Grimes (2005) As Nansen et.al state: “Mathletics represents corporate investment in the digital spaces of children’s play and education by fostering and capturing parental anxieties and ambitions about the benefits of internet use for educational goals, and educational institutions’ concern for the pedagogical possibilities of the internet and the need for online resources” As the terms and conditions are agreed to, mostly without adequate analysis, it is agreed to that the site may collect user data for their own means including marketing aims and profitability. For example, just a student logging into the website through a username and password given to them by their school, the site then infers that children are being drawn into the cultural world of Web 2.0 and practices such as collaborative learning. Through extension it is also inferred that the schools and independent students are being “educated in the labour models and markets of digital capitalism” (Nansen et.al 2012). Substantial advantages and disadvantages for both students and teachers exist in the incorporation of social networking in certain situational pedagogy.
Supervision and using the technology for the right reasons is essential. With appropriate strategies in place to divert from negative outcomes, social media has the ability/has already brought education forward into an entirely new, advanced and rationalised world. In Conclusion: Anonymous, Jessy. (2012, July). Social Media in Digital Education: Pros and Cons [blog entry]. Retrieved from http://www.dreamgrow.com/social-media-in-digital-education-pros-and-cons/
Chung G and Grimes SM (2005) Data mining the kids: Surveillance and market research strategies in children's online games. Canadian Journal of Communication 30(4): 527–548.
Connolly, M. (2011, October). Benefits and Drawbacks of social media in education [cover story]. Retrieved from http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/news/coverstories/2011/benefits_and_drawbacks.php
Consalvo M (2007) Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Video Games. New York: MIT Press.
Dunn, J. (2011, July). The 10 Best and Worst ways social media impacts education [web log past]. Retrieved from http://edudemic.com/2011/07/social-media-education/
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Zuckerberg, M. (2012, October 4). One billion people on facebook. Retrieved from http://newsroom.fb.com/News/One-Billion-People-on-Facebook-1c9.aspx References: