Teens love social media so much that many schools aren’t fighting it anymore. In fact, many are using sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter as educational tools. Often teachers and administrators are able to use the intriguing qualities of social media to help benefit students rather than merely distract them from their schoolwork. It’s thought that the use of social media should be mediated because, if not, students will be left to their own social networking devices.
Almost all students,96 percent,with Internet access say that they take part in social networking sites. Of these students, 59 percent say that they use these sites to discuss education in general, and, of these students, 50 percent discuss specific school assignments. Three out of four students in middle and high school have at least one social media profile. Considering these statistics alone, it only makes sense to expose students to education through social media outlets. However, 69 percent of schools have officially banned the use of cell phones, including smart phones.
Today, around 59 percent of schools are finding educational ways to use social media sites and apps. Not only that, but 35 percent have created student-run blogs. Teachers often run blogs as well, in addition to creating Facebook and Pinterest pages for students to post work and parents to view it. Many students have access to online international and pen pal programs, as around 46 percent of schools participate in them. At school, the most frequently used social networking sites are Skype, YouTube, and Facebook.
So far, 27 percent of schools have established their own online communities for administration and teaching staff. Almost half of all National School Board Association schools collaborate with each other online.
Students benefit from social media educational tools because they promote inter-cultural dialogue, expose students to new technology-based ideas, and encourage collaboration between students.
Parents benefit from the use of social media in schools almost as much as the students. Through schools’ use of social media, parents can increase communication with teachers and students and become more involved in classroom activity overall. They can better understand teacher and classroom expectations.