Monday, February 4, 2013

Social Media: A Revolutionary Landscape

Two profound glimpses at the state of the educational world are found in the videos Social Media Revolution 2011 and Educational Change Challenge. The landscape of our current educational system does not necessarily reflect the ever-changing competencies of today's society. Today's students require an education that fits their needs and that prepares them for the technological demands of today's world. Something as trivial as a language barrier should not prevent students from meeting these needs.

Look across the nation's schools. Even at an early age, students are learning to use computers, calculators, iPads, and other handheld devices.

As the Educational Change Challenge points out, our society's take on school has not evolved with the changing times. The video consists of a brilliant amalgamation of quotes from progressive educational critics. It is true that many students are largely placed into classes on the basis of age, rather than skill and knowledge levels. For this reason, many students are placed in a class by which they do not belong! We need to pay greater attention to student needs, as well as the formats of class. As the video indicates, one solitary room containing one adult and twenty-five children cannot lead to the comprehensive education that everyone deserves. We need to immerse students in a vibrant, technology-infused climate that prepares students for success in post-secondary school and the real world. When students are judged by scores on standardized tests, their needs and accomplishments are oversimplified to an arbitrary rubric of aptitude.

With the advent of technology, pedagogues have developed the idea of technological literacy. Specifically, technological literacy refers to the ability to communicate, problem solve, and properly utilize software to solve twenty-first century problems. The tools for solving problems become richer and more complex with each passing year. Students should be familiar with the use of these many tools in order to become productive members of this digital society.

We cannot deny that social media occupies a large segment of social interaction today. Instead of neglecting this dynamic resource, educators should embrace its potential as a learning resource. Instructors should use Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media to supplement instruction! The possibilities are endless, and students will gain a hands-on learning experience that cannot be taught solely via lecture. The video Social Media Revolution 2011 comments upon this technology that pervades nearly every facet of our lives. The users of social media are rapidly increasing, and these landscapes are shaping up to becoming useful social networking resources for educators, professionals, individuals, and so on.

The research is clear. We need our schools to catch up to the changing demands of society. As teachers, we can play our part in shaping the direction of education. We can incorporate more technological-infused lessons into our curriculum, we can differentiate more meticulously, and we can petition educational legislators to make them aware of these shifting needs. The time is now, folks!

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