The Social Media Line in the Battle For Public Education
Social Media Line – If you have been a teacher over the last 5 years then you know that today is the online age and with it comes a whole new level of discipline and strategy. Students use the internet for information, to communication, and to debrief after an activity. This department was brimming with knowledge when I took over in 2002 and things have only gotten more complex since then.
When I first walked into my school district as an English Language Learner, I found that each pupil was using their own technological device to communicate with the teacher and to send us messages. Many of the devices were Walkmans, which were great for short information bursts. However, when I and my colleagues saw the potential of continually upgrading and adding to these devices, we began to quickly realize we had a lot of work to sort out and a lot of learners to serve.
As a communications specialist I decided early on that I wanted to make sure that all of the technology that was being used by our learners was technologically compatible. Technology allowed us to create new and exciting tools to support our students. Individuals could now privately text each other, use instant messaging, and email each other, and we could all communicate with the district office from anywhere in our city. We all also had access to the web resources of the district at the district’s website. This was a great way to provide continuously new and interesting ways to teach and to communicate.
In the beginning, our main communication tool was the electronic mail system. Everyone in the district could access from anywhere, and they could communicate to each other easily and safely. We purchased several computers and an employee who could constantly monitor 5 computers in the district. This system was a great way to accomplish this, as each computer could be used by only one district member. Each district member could be assigned one computer to use for district business and that could be monitored at all times.
As technology has advanced, the use of email has become the primary method of communication at any level. It is still okay to use snail mail and letters to communicate between districts, but it has certainly been a long time to say that. In some districts they have replaced snail mail and letters with email, and that has been fine. I approve of this because it has always been my experience that communicating through email is a much safer and more convenient method of communication. Students are much more likely to respond to an email from a certified teacher or school district representative than they would receive a letter from a student. Students in the past decade have grown up in a world of the internet and have been exposed to a world of information. The internet has provided students the means to network with each other, to find information, and to interact with the adults in their lives. The internet has also presented businesses with a new way to communicate with prospective customers. The internet has provided students with an entirely new medium of communication. The information on the internet is constantly evolving and splitting into even more levels of information. This has presented educators and business owners with a new tool to keep in communication with their respective communities.
A traditional medium of communication is still very useful although it has true become a dinosaur in the modern age. Students still have the ability to rely on the school medium of choice, but it is true that modern communication tools provide a more modern and interactive tool for learning. The interactive age is why educators should be exploring and using the internet for students. The internet is a great way for students to experience information, debate issues, and network with people who bring different talents and expertise to the table.
As a teacher, utilizing the internet for students is going to be a tool for students to communicate with each other and interact academically. It is a medium that requires researched information and sources and uses these sources to help them arrive at a sound conclusion. The internet is a foundation for learning and communication, and a foundation that every student can relate to and appreciate. The internet can be a luxury or a tool, it depends on how you use it. The internet is a major tool for education, and it is up to the teacher, and the students themselves, to make the choice.