Why it is high-time to connect with educational social networking site
Just a few years ago, social networking meant little more to educators than the headache of determining whether to penalize students for inappropriate activities captured on Facebook or My Space. Now, teachers and students have a vast array of social-networking sites and tools—from Ning to Voice Thread and Second Life—to draw on for such serious uses as professional development and project collaboration.
Educators who support using social networking for education say it has become so ubiquitous for students when they are in elementary school—that it just makes sense to engage them this way.
Though teachers and students are now pushing learning beyond the borders of the classroom through social networking, which move also comes with hurdles, including the fact that many schools still block access to such sites within their walls. School officials must also confront the uncertainties and questions surrounding privacy issues, proper management, and cyber security when they open their doors to social-networking sites.
On the other hand, educators can help students realize even more benefits from their social network site use by working to deepen students’ still emerging ideas about what it means to be a good digital citizen and leader online. However it’s a world that some educators are realizing students feel at home in and is unlikely to disappear.
A study by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project found that 73 percent of Americans ages 12 to 17 now use social-networking websites, up from 55 percent in 2006.
“Educational Networking” is the use of social networking technologies for educational purposes. Because the phrase “social networking” can carry some negative connotations for educators, the phrase “educational networking” may be a way of more objectively discussing the pedagogical value of these tools.
Educators and advocates of new digital literacy are confident that social networking encourages the development of transferable, technical, and social skills of value in formal and informal learning. In a formal learning environment, goals or objectives are determined by an outside department or agency.
Tweeting, instant messaging, or blogging enhances student involvement. Students who would not normally participate in class are more apt to partake through social network services. Networking allows participants the opportunity for just-in-time learning and higher levels of engagement. Antisocial networks are defined as a social network, deviously manipulated for launching activities connected with fraud and cyber-crime. Secret life becomes dangerous only when combined with toxic elements such as severe psychological abnormalities or extreme antisocial behavior.
Technology can enhance the secrecy, especially when parents remain uninformed or fail to articulate clear values and enforceable rules. Appropriate, balanced and socially approved use of the technology with wisdom along with rationale thinking is hence the need of the hour.