It is possible that social media could be regarded as one of the hallmarks of the 21st century. Since the MySpace rush along with many other smaller sites and then finally Facebook, social media has progressed in many ways. It is undeniable that there was almost a taboo with adults on using social media or network sites. There was more than enough negative press coming from the youth’s almost obsessive use of social media.
However, one day, and I am not sure when this happened, I woke up and social media and networks seemed to be integrated into society. Not only this, but perhaps the most unlikely place you would’ve found a social network site like Facebook a few years ago was in school.
Let’s face it, not only could you not find it in school, you couldn’t even mention it without facing some horrible consequence… maybe even expulsion.
All jokes aside, the use of Facebook and other social media sites present in classrooms have increased rapidly. I really began to notice this change my first year in college. Not only did the school have its own page, but it seemed like every administrative group and organization present on campus had one.
Up until my freshman year in college I don’t believe I had ever utilized Facebook in an educational sense. The use of the site was reserved for interacting with friends in the normal “young adult” way. That is spending generous amounts of time commenting, creeping, and constantly checking my news feed. However, some professors at my school began forming groups for their individual classes as a way of communicating and keeping students updated.
And when it came to group work, the easiest way for individual groups I was in to keep updated and maybe bounce fresh ideas off one another was to form a Facebook page.
This change and integration may surprise some people. Yet, when you look at the convenience sites like Facebook and other social media platforms provide for convenient communication, it is not surprising at all.
This is a trend not only occurring on universities, but also on smaller levels. My brother’s fourth grade teacher has made Facebook one of her primary ways of communicating with parents. Because of this platform, my parents now have access to what my brother does in class every day, and if they have a question all it takes is a quick message to his teacher.
Social media at one point was strictly forbidden in the classroom. It still is in a sense, but now it can be used as a tool to benefit teachers and students alike without taking away from the educational experience.