Social Media Generation

I just had a wonderful conversation with my students.  They started it. It started with a student having his phone out.  Kids know if texting in class, I have to take their phone. I have no problem taking up phones for texting because they are disrupting other classes and the texts are usually mean.  But this kid was finished with the assignment and was looking up something online for another class. I let it slide, why deny a kid the power of the internet?! Had to explain myself to the class, they all agreed that it was fair!

Next question was a student asking me if anyone turned in the form that said that their parents would not allow them to do the blog assignment.  I told him no and his comment was “Good, what kind of parent says, ‘No my kid can’t learn, can’t use the internet that is full of information, and can’t share with the world.'” The sentence caught me off guard all I could say was “Dude, I love you!” I then started explaining to them how social media was a new thing. This lead to them discussing how parents do not like facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.  I had to explain how they are not used to this open society we have created.

We talked about fear of internet, fear of telling to much. They did not think that posting everything that happens to them on FB was a big deal but it is to their parents.  I asked them to tell me why they felt the need to post statuses on internet. They all had pretty much the same answer – to get a comment from others.

Wow so true. Part of these kids lives is to share with the world what they are doing or how they are feeling AND to comment to others about their lives. They asked me if that was why I twitter, facebook, and blog. Yeah I guess it is.  Its all about sharing.

That is their culture. Interacting with the world is second nature to them.  Collaborating with others. Listening to others. Communicating with others.

If that is their culture, why are they being told NOT to do this? Why are they (and me!) criticized for using this medium?

We need to embrace that social media is everywhere. The world is not “changing” it has changed. It is time to accept it, it is to learn from it, it is time to encourage learning in this world!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Josh says:

    Things haven’t changed much since I was in 6th grade. I wanted to get feedback from my peers. But with today’s kids the feedback can be quicker and to a larger audience. I think it’s important that they be “taught” the issues that can come with the larger audience.

  2. Holly says:

    I agree that this is a social media generation. However, as someone who advises job candidates and companies in reputation management, it’s important for students to know what to post and what not to post on their updates. For example, if someone posts their location, people other than their immediate friends can find this information out and meet them there, or know they are not home. On Facebook, one’s list of contents used to be private information but is now public. Relationship status is a whole other can of worms. Photos are often available to anyone in their friends’ network on Facebook as well, and Google and Bing use realtime search, which means twitter tweets are instantaneously posted at the top of the search engine. Social media requires a maturity level to minimize loss of a job or reputation. Please ensure your students understand that part of it, too.

    On another note, I am glad to see your students are able to access the net via their phones, which is what I write about on my Online Maazine.

    Wonder how I found you? Social Media. I used to be an Elementary School computer teacher, so I am always interested in how computers and social media are used in the classroom. Someone you know retweeted my “Happy Star Wars Day” tweet, I started following him, and then I found your blog since you have a protected twitter account. Funny how that all works!

    All the Best,
    @mobienthusiast on Twitter

  3. amandacdykes says:


    I spend a lot of time with my students discussing the dangers, etc of social media. I think once education systems embrace social media they teaching of social networking behavior will come with it. I know in my classroom teaching safety is very important. Also, in our system students are required to take online safety test/webinar, this teaches that as well. Part of education is teaching maturity. This needs to be part of that. Thanks for your input, its good to know what others outside of education think about SM in schools.

    Sorry about the guarded tweets, not my choice. Long story, explained in my last blog post “If we couldn’t laugh…”

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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