Social Media and Education

SocMedEd – A Mission Statement

Posted on: March 14, 2010

To what extent should school technology policies permit the use of social media applications?  How does the use of social media in the classroom increase student learning?  To explore the range of answers to these questions and formulate a defensible opinions, I have created this blog.  This blog will reflect a variety of insights from parents, classroom teachers, tech integration specialists, and administrators.

According to Wikipedia,

“Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.”

Stated in that way, one might think a course in social media might have a place in a high school communications program.  One might see the definition a bit differently and speculate that social media could have a role in the education of all students, moving them from “…content consumers into content producers.”  After all, isn’t much of teaching about evaluating student products?

Opinions of social media in education begin to shift when some parents, teachers, administrators, and board members first hear examples of social media programs:  Blogger, WordPress, Xanga, Facebook, Twitter, Hi5, MySpace, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Mixx, You Tube, Skype, Flickr, and Second Life to name a few.

Some school corporations have an outright ban on all social media applications.  Others open particular applications on a case by case basis.  At this point in time, I do not know of a corporation that allows unrestrained access.

It should also be pointed out the social media is rapidly becoming the primary growth tool for many businesses.  It also plays a powerful role in politics as politicians learn to use it to communicate their platforms.

I am excited about the potential of this blog.  I hope it encourages thoughtful reflection, evokes profitable exchanges, and results in purposeful evaluation of practices and policies in education.  I look forward to your comments and our discussions.

Rick Glass


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