Social media is not only about Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Social media also includes YouTube, tumblr, other blog sites, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. I use social media on a daily basis outside of my school setting. I use Facebook and tumblr for the use of blogging my son’s growth progress to my family who are states away from where I live, so they are able to keep up with him and my family. I mainly use tumblr for that purpose, but I use Facebook as well to document his growth. I use Facebook to express my feelings, as well as document my interests. Now that I am a mom, I like to keep up with other moms and what they do to keep up with toddlers and different hacks to help along the way. I am associated with groups that post local news as well as Southern California news. Facebook is where I see my news and then I branch out of Facebook to find credibility of those news stories. Not everything on the internet is true and finding the websites that are credible are crucial to your valuable knowledge. Another use of Facebook for myself is to keep up with old friends from high school and to see what everyone is up to. To me it is an easy way to keep up with what people do so you don’t feel left out when you are able to talk to them or see them again. I am this way with my best friend who lives on the other side of the country. We keep both of us in the loop as to what is going on by posting pictures and status’ so when we do get together, we are living in the moment enjoying each others company and not trying to play catch up with our lives.
Social media in the classroom for most teachers is not a good thing, but they need to grasp that social media is not going away and to use social media as a way to educate students. According to Marie Owens (http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/using-social-media-classroom/), social media use in the classroom is a great tool to teach students how to use it properly. It also engages them to learn more about the social media use other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. By using social media such as student blogs, which teachers can monitor, can help with in class projects such as PBLs. This also allows students to become more aware of different cultures. By allowing students to use social media to learn about their projects they can see where other students around the globe come from and what their life styles are. By allowing the students to see the different cultures will help the students to become more well-rounded and appreciate those who have other cultures.
The following video shows a teacher who have students in the 1st grade who use social media such as blogs and twitter to keep track of their progress and to socialize with other students across the world.