The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

For a long time, playing with your phone was (among) the greatest sins possible in the classroom, indicating a reluctance to the lecture and materials presented. With the growing use of social media and the ubiquity of phones, can this lurking enemy become classrooms’ friend?

According to Alyssa Tormala and Shannon lee, It can; students are becoming more comfortable sharing on social media and although there is a tendency to exhibit the ideal self, educators have the opportunity to help students learn and make better choices through empowerment by a positive online community. The authors provide some practical examples: collaborative writing experience (Digital writing roulette ), using Snapchat in the classroom (here), inviting students to watch educational movies and tweet about it, starting Facebook page so that students can post about developing topics and issues.

Although the premise of social media benefit is tempting, caution should be given not to become overly optimistic: research has shown that social media can serve as a two-edged sword: help increase relationship-building but at the same time distracts from the main tasks (read more here). On a different yet relevant note, a past survey has showed that students are concerned about merging their social lives and academic ones. The issue of students’ privacy is a big consideration that cannot be taken lightly.

4 thoughts on “The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

  1. I appreciated how you concluded this entry. I think a healthy dose of skepticism is needed for relying on social media as a learning tool. While I don’t think of myself as a luddite, I do think it is necessary to question the potential of such platforms and tools given the notion of distraction is built into their design and operation. It reminds me of the blackhole of wikipedia at times; sometimes, I’m left wondering how my review of “social constructivism” could lead to the wikipedia entry for “swarm intelligence” an hour later. Yet this does not mean that we simply discard their utility for pedagogy, but it demands reflection and consideration for the ways in which they can be leveraged for specific activities. To get to that point, it seems like we need to take stock of how they have been used – as you do above – as well as think about how they could fit within the context of the topics or courses we teach.

    Like

  2. Thank you for the post (especially for the interesting title!). I agree with that social media has a long way to go considering the effectiveness of teaching, and privacy concerns of both students and faculty members. I would like to bring a future opportunity referring to the title of your post: gamification in learning! Gamification is a widely used strategy and it is getting more popular day by day in educating corporate employees and small children, and it is proven effective so far. I think social media could play an important role in classrooms in terms of gamification; it might come to a point that playing with your phone might take your grade from A- to A!

    Like

  3. Thank you for the post (especially for the interesting title!). I agree with that social media has a long way to go considering the effectiveness of teaching, and privacy concerns of both students and faculty members. I would like to bring a future opportunity referring to the title of your post: gamification in learning! Gamification is a widely used strategy and it is getting more popular day by day in educating corporate employees and small children, and it is proven effective so far. I think social media could play an important role in classrooms in terms of gamification; it might come to a point that playing with your phone might take your grade from A- to A!

    Like

  4. Same as you, I think technology should be used with caution in the classroom. I think we should avoid using it in sessions that students are already engaged, and use technology in sessions that the teacher already has problems engaging students.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s