Social Networking in the Classroom

Social media is largely becoming, if not already, a large part of everyday life - Social Networking in the Classroom introduction. Now it has even become a part of education and the classroom. The site Facebook has over five-hundred million users and the vast majority of the people in society today, even grandmas, use Facebook daily. According to OnlineUniversities. com, “Social media may have started out as a fun way to connect with friends, but has evolved to become a powerful tool for education and business. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter and tools such as Skype are connecting students to learning opportunities in new and exciting ways. Social networks are causing younger students to pay less attention in classes which causes them to be unprepared for higher education or the workforce. In most classrooms around the world, using cell phones to send text messages and laptops to access sites like Facebook and Twitter are very much discouraged. Considered a high-tech distraction that impedes the learning environment, such actions often end in the student being reprimanded, penalized and even having their devices confiscated.

Things are a little different now; in some cases professors–especially those who teach in large lecture halls–have come to embrace social networking as an instructional aid. Using an application developed on campus, the educators who enrolled in the program have come to think of social networking via texting and online portals as a tool, rather than a distraction. After all of the praise of Facebook and Twitter and other social networking sites being used in education and business there are still some who feel as though these social networking sites are to blame for students’ poor grades.

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According to the article, Social networking: teachers blame Facebook and Twitter for pupils’ poor grades by Andy Bloxham, “Children who spend much of their time online find it harder to concentrate in class, are permanently distracted and have shorter attention spans, researchers found. ” Many teachers are also unhappy at the increase in the number of children who are using text-speak or social networking chat – such as 2mor, msg, lol and bk – in place of English grammar.

The worrying stats emerged in a study of 500 teachers conducted by leading school trips provider JCA – which motivates personal and social development outside the classroom. A spokeswoman for JCA said: “This research clearly demonstrates that students up and down the country are spending more and more time using social media. ” “Rather than relying on life experiences, educational travel and face to face interaction with others, children are becoming obsessed with social networking and this is shaping their attitudes instead. The report concludes that the children with the poorest grades at school are the ones who spent most time on social networking sites. According to the website http://socialnetwork. lovetoknow. com: “Our latest generation of high school students expose themselves to more social networking sites than ever before. The Internet surrounds us: when we are not on our laptops at home surfing the Internet we use “Smart phones” and “net books” to satisfy our addiction of media. Even if you have not talked to someone in a year, you know his or her entire life story by following his or her Facebook page.

According to a recent study, a group of college students indicated a direct correlation between social networking intensity and life satisfaction. The students who used social networking the most are satisfied with their life. ” The term, “Social Networking” misleads people to believe they are social beings. Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end chatting with friends while playing Farmville does not translate into social skills. People become dependent on the technology and forget how to interact with the world around them.

Social networks provide an outlet for the socially challenged to express themselves in digital form. Someone’s online personality may be completely different from their offline persona, causing chaos when their two “lives” intersect. The negative impact of social networking sites is evident in online dating when the couple meets face-to-face for the first time. Commonly their personalities do not match their self-written descriptions. It is easier to type what someone wants to hear rather than telling the truth.

With all of these sources and with personal experience, how hard is it to deny any of these statements above? Social networking sites, even with their benefits, are still holding students back in the classroom. If someone happened to be a fly on the wall in the back of a classroom filled with computers and students, while the teacher is up front teaching trying to get the information they are providing to the student to absorb into that student’s mind, they would notice that the vast majority, if not more, of the students in that room are browsing a social networking site.

These sites are what is causing today’s generation of students to enter the workforce after higher education unprepared because they were too busy on Facebook and not paying attention to what information is being given to them in the classroom. Therefore, social networking sites are one of the major flaws in the education system in this generation.

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