The 10 Best and Worst Ways Social Media Impacts Education – Edudemic

The 10 Best and Worst Ways Social Media Impacts Education – Edudemic.

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10 thoughts on “The 10 Best and Worst Ways Social Media Impacts Education – Edudemic

  1. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    These two really worry me: 3. The more time students spend on social sites, the less time they spend socializing in person. Because of the lack of body signals and other nonverbal cues, like tone and inflection, social networking sites are not an adequate replacement for face-to-face communication. Students who spend a great deal of time on social networking are less able to effectively communicate in person.

    4. The popularity of social media, and the speed at which information is published, has created a lax attitude towards proper spelling and grammar. The reduces a student’s ability to effectively write without relying on a computer’s spell check feature. (source)

    I realize there are some positives, as the article outlines, but I’m not always convinced they outweigh the negatives. Call me old fashioned. QRSTUVW

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      One of my thoughts on #3 is that they do not differentiate a causal effect. Is it that online social networking make children less able to socialize in person, or is it that children with social skill problems and shyness do more communication online? The issue of nonverbal cues is also a problem in say telephone calls (where body language is entirely unavailable) yet we do not assert that teenage girls spending too much time on the phone inhibits their social skills (I got into so much trouble for that as a teen). In a way, this can also encourage individuals to become better at written communication. Likewise, I feel that this provides parents and educators an opportunity to teach our children about balance in our lives – online versus in person communication, etc.
      #4 – we have heard that with the advent of spell check and word processors. The reality is, I’m a very poor speller (due to a touch of dyslexia and my reliance on typing). I learned to type at about 10 and am a far faster typist than hand-writer. In fact, I would say that I am severely crippled in the arena of hand-written communication – I cannot write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts and do not have the ability to readily edit and reorganize my thoughts. In a lot of ways, I feel like writing via a keyboard and a word-processor has made me a more thoughtful written communicator (when I think about it, sometimes I shoot off an email that, on second reading, makes me cringe). A part of me suspects that I would not have been able to get past this frustration of writing by hand and would be poor with the written word.
      An old english teacher of mine instructed us to write in a journal every week. She said that spelling, grammar, and organization did not matter. She just wanted us writing regularly. We do know that children who regularly write (regardless of the inherent quality of the work) are better writers, readers, and critical thinkers. Social media encourages children to write – to write a lot – to write often. Heck, you and I both know that half the battle is getting them to write.
      And besides, Michael, don’t you believe that language is a constantly evolving organism that changes along with cultural norms and practices? Perhaps it’s time to accept that l8er is the new spelling! KWIM? 😉

      Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      You know I love to tease you! Besides, this is the common argument by Philistines like me who can’t spell.

      Reply
  2. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    As a side note to your points, some of the most intelligent people I know are the worst spellers. I have always been a bit resentful of those in the halls of academia that connect good spelling to intelligence. It is a most false connection.

    Reply
  3. Colin Bridgewater

    I actually have a problem with two of his “positive” points:

    “3. By spending so much time working with new technologies, students develop more familiarity with computers and other electronic devices. With the increased focus on technology in education and business, this will help students build skills that will aid them throughout their lives.”

    I find this to completely untrue. Students are familiar with how to chat and post photos, but they have no concept of how it all works or what to do when it doesn’t work. We’re creating a generation of social networkers who have no clue why it all works the way it does. Whether it’s hitting print 10 times when a job doesn’t come out of the printer the first time or proclaiming that they couldn’t access their homework because the “Internet was down” (when it was really their home wifi or a particular website that was down), I don’t see that social networking is helping “students build skills that will aid them throughout their lives.”

    “4. The ease with which a student can customize their profile makes them more aware of basic aspects of design and layout that are not often taught in schools. Building resumes and personal websites, which are increasingly used as online portfolios, benefit greatly from the skills obtained by customizing the layout and designs of social networking profiles.”

    Is this guy still using MySpace? And when he is on MySpace, does he actually think that the customized profiles that kids created taught them anything about “aspects of design and layout”? Those profiles might have been great examples of horrible design…

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      But they do, say have a better familiarity and intuitive idea of how software works. For example, my mother still updates her Facebook status when she’s trying to comment on someone else’s page. My grandmother cannot understand how to open and send an email. We do know that those more familiar with technology perform better on standardized tests given on computers than those that don’t. So, they may not be programming, but they do have a comfort level that other members of their generation do not.
      The ‘internet was down’ excuse… sounds like typical teenage excuse-making. Mine like to pull “I handed it in to you, you must have lost it” as they know I move all the time and it’s easy for things to get misplaced.
      Yes, the lay-out and design concept… Yeah… I agree with you there. Just looking at all the craziness they do with PowerPoint. I have to ban neon colored text.

      Reply
  4. Jim Wheeler

    An interesting topic here. A few thoughts from a member of the older generation:

    Since starting to blog about a year ago I find that an important quality of essays is information density. I find the result is improved if, when I do a post I go bcd over it and carefully throw out extraneous thoughts and needless adjectives. It seems more persuasive. The same is true of punctuation; one comma can change the intent of a sentence.

    One of my fellow bloggers habitually uses ALL CAPS for emphasis and makes many spelling errors. While his meaning still usually comes through (I guess), it makes more work on my part and I find it distracting. Quantity over quality is an impediment and my mind keeps interpreting the ALL CAPS as yelling. I can’t help it.

    Another important factor in writing, IMO, is organizing one’s thoughts before beginning. I often do a rough outline of the points I want to make. It saves more time than the effort takes. I submit that the principles espoused by Strunk and White in their classic handbook, “The Elements of Style” are timeless and needed now more than ever. There is a powerful meme in the digital age that speed trumps quality in writing. Perhaps this is driven by the sense that an error canbe just as quickly corrected as made, but I see much danger in this. On the other hand, if I were teaching writing I would try to convince the students that there is satisfaction to be had in delivering information in a compact and interesting form.

    Reply

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