Web 2.0 and Why Educators Can't Afford to Live Without it.
There's a lot of debate about whether or not social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter should be blocked at schools. However, is there a way that teachers could use this type of media to their advantage? Not that students should be allowed to Facebook on their laptops during class, as so many college students do today, but is there some good that comes from social media?
For one example, this post on TechXav says that social media sites, such as Facebook, actually increase literacy rates and confidence in writing. Who knew?
And the best part? The author is a 15-year-old student.
If kids can see the benefits, we should listen. Blogs allow us to write freely, with a purpose all your own. And isn't that the best, most exciting, and rewarding way to write? It's no wonder that students who blog have increased confidence in writing. Blogs and social media/networking sites allow us to be creative, no strings attached. They allow us to create something all our own, that represents only us.
Although there are some dangers involved with letting kids run rampant, with all the unhealthy sites out there, I believe the good outweighs the bad. If teachers can use things like message boards, blog posts, etc. to foster learning and discussion, students will respond in a positive way. It will allow them to develop their thoughts and type them out, giving them practice in critical thinking and writing skills.
Another very interesting report about social networking in higher education states that:
"Web 2.0 is not remarkable; it describes simply the background structure of media and socialization."
And what follows is Learning 2.0. If used constructively, students will read, write, and collaborate with each other, teachers, and the virtual world. In today's society, Web 2.0 isn't new anymore, it's not innovative. It's reality. Any educators must take advantage of it or they will miss out on a huge opportunity.