The Role of Social Media in Education

Objective:

It is evident that social media plays a prominent role in our education system.  From Facebook to Twitter to blogs to Wiki projects, they are all widely used in classrooms to keep the communication highway open, instant and up-to-date and to create social networking.  It is best depicted in this following picture.  Please click HERE to view picture.

Reflective:

Whether it is in education or in our daily lives, we are constantly surrounded by many different social media options that cater to our information and communication needs.  Social media gives people (i.e. students) a voice.  Blogs are great for posting ideas or concerns a student may have and then allowing others to respond to it.  Wiki projects promote collaborative learning, teamwork, and organization.  However, there are many who are opposed to social media in education as they argue that the physical part of interaction between people is no longer present.  Is this good or bad?  Well, I guess it all depends on the person’s preference and the outcomes of the situation.

Interpretative:

With a positive and a negative side of social media in education present, one must see which side plays a more prominent role in their practice of the tools.  However, it is important for one to engage themselves in some knowledge of the different social media tools available currently.  I don’t think it is possible to fully escape the reality of the role of social media in education.  Just sending a simple e-mail is considered as a social media tool and I believe that everyone has sent an e-mail in their educational lifetime.

Decisive:

I believe that social media plays an important role in our educational system.  However, I think the choice of usage is solely dependent on the instructor’s teaching needs and methods.  In my baking field, physical interaction is the most important aspect in demonstrations and practical work.  Therefore, I don’t find the usage of different social media as eminent in my classroom.  However, I have found showing the appropriate YouTube video to be a very effective and will always find a way to incorporating that into my classes.

Reference

http://www.thecareersecrets.com/how-can-social-media-affect-your-job-search/

EmergingEdTech: The growing use of Twitter by today’s educators

Objective:

The presenter discusses about the growing use of the social media Twitter in our education system.  Even though there is a 5% increase in the usage, there is also an increase in people who have tried it and do not use it anymore.  Pros and cons are discussed to support these stats.  While many people find Twitter a great medium to convey ideas, information, opinions, etc. instantaneously, many people find Twitter and other real time social media tools limiting and obstructing the ability of people to social converse with each other.  Instructors find that students do not gain and learn the ability to speak in front of people and that they develop poor grammar and poor writing skills.

Reflective:

I totally agree with the points that were discussed in this video.  As the evidence show, our society is deeply submerged into the usage of Twitter, from following pop stars to the newsroom to your local street food vendors.  Information is demanded instantaneously and social media provides it in real time.  We need to weigh the pros and cons to see whether it really does benefit the students or the people that are involved.

Interpretative:

It is very interesting to see how we are easily influenced and affected by all the social media that surrounds us.  I don’t believe that all social media is beneficial in a classroom or educational setting.  I totally agree with the people who suggest that Twitter, like texting, promotes poor communication, grammar, and writing skills.  I find that there is no personal side to people who uses these tools.  There is no personal contact with the “real” person.  This is quite sad.

Decision:

Seeing this realization, I will have to be careful in choosing the tool that I use to convey information to my students.  To communicate with my students, I know that just by using e-mail, I will be able to keep an open communication pathway with my students as our baking program involves a lot of “face-to-face” time with the students and we will never lose that.

References:

“The growing use of twitter by today’s educators”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFP07a3ThAs

Seth Priebatsch: Building a game layer on top of the world

Objective:

The speaker, Seth Priebatsch discusses how the gaming dynamics built in our society focuses on influencing behaviour rather than the social aspect, which was built in the last decade.  The social framework was built through the “Facebook” tool.  Seth introduced four gaming dynamics that influences behaviour.  The appointment dynamic is designed to have the person be present at a predetermined place at a predefined time.  For example, “happy hour” at a bar draws people there between certain times in order for them to receive a discount price on alcohol.  The other three discussed are the status, progression, and communal discovery dynamics; all of which influence the person’s behaviour in how things are achieved.

Reflective:

I found his examples shows truth in how individuals act.  It is so evident in our current society and the examples further brought reality.  Most, if not all businesses offer some sort of rewards program for shopping with them.  The more you buy from them, the more points you collect and whether the points means anything to you or not, we will try to collect as many points as we can.  We are constantly offered extra Air Miles for buying specific items at Safeway, for example.  Whether or not we need that particular item is not as important to some as the main goal of collecting the miles.  However, it is nice to see that there are companies out there that design applications that show great benefits to the consumer such as the company “Vitality” that reminds people to take their medication on time.

Interpretative:

It is very interesting to see how we are easily influenced and affected by such a simple “games.”  Whether it is something that influences our rational judgment or something that continues to engage us into achieving a higher status or reach a higher level of accomplishment, we become totally vulnerable without us even knowing that it is happening.  We are being controlled by our society.  This is a scary thought to me.

Decision:

Reaching this realization, I will have to be more aware of schemes and “bad” applications that I am exposed to.   This video has actually opened my eyes.  These applications are constantly around us and continuously surround us.  Being able to recognize when it is there will help me make more logical and sound judgments as to whether my actions are influenced in a positive or negative manner.

Reference:

Seth Priebatsch, TED Talks (August 2010): http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html

Ted Talk by Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

Objective:

The speaker, Clay Shirky, discusses the transformation of media landscape through the usage of two stories.  At the end, he told another story demonstrating the importance of discipline when we are using these media.  To summarize his talk, he introduced the four technological innovations that our society went through in the past few hundreds of years:  the printing press in the 1400’s; the 2-way conversation through telegraph and telephones; the recorded media such as films, recorded sounds, and movies; and then transitioning into television and radio.  Then the Internet was invented to combine all four innovations and more.  Social media is made available as new innovations such as camera and video options are developed in our cell phones so that any citizen can relay and report news as they occur in real time.  Media is social, global, and cheap.  It allows us to connect with the world and with each other wherever we are.  It is there for us to voice our opinions, share information, and for others to read it and respond to it.  However, media should not be used to control the thoughts and actions of the participants but rather act as a supporter of freedom of expression, ideas, and knowledge.  The question to keep in mind is “how can we make best use of this media and how can we accept/adapt to this change?”

Reflective:

I agree the ideas that Clay talked about in his session.  The facts really resonated with me because it is so evident in our current society and the examples further brought reality.  Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are used widely from the reporting of our local news to the Hollywood scene to our close friends and family.  Twitter, Facebook, messaging/texting, and other 2-way communication mediums allow people to access information instantly about another person in real time.  We are moving into an “instant gratification” society where we demand instant up-to-date information.  However, we really have to be careful how we use the information gathered by the use of our social media of choice or someone else’s.

Interpretative:

I am constantly exposed to all different forms of social media in my life.  I use a cell phone or a computer to check e-mails, read the news, look up directions, search for information, voice opinions on a subject in a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or other 2-way conversational tools.  People who are active social media participants also surround me.  How we use these tools should be closely observed and respected to ensure that people or their information does not get exploited in any negative manner or get in the wrong hands.

Decision:

The first two examples that the speaker discussed was how social media facilitated the sharing of information worldwide.  To keeping a watchful eye on the presidential election to the real time reporting of the earthquake in China, social media has acted as an important useful tool for us to record events as they happen.  Through his examples, he has made me realize that I can make use of my social media options to a larger scale.  For example, I can take pictures of desserts and cakes from pastry shops or restaurants that inspire me and show them to my students.   With the explanation of the components that I admire in the picture will also act as an inspiration to my students to help them gain more interest in making their products look better.  Clay’s example of how President Obama’s campaign had discipline in not using their website media tool to control his supporters’ opinions clearly showed me how I am to treat and handle information gathered.  I should and will not use the information in a negative way to benefit myself.  That is something I have never thought of but I am glad that I learned about this.  I will now be conscious about my actions.

Reference:

Shirky C., How Social Media Can Make History, Online URL (Available At): http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html (June 2009)