Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dealing with Social Media in Schools

A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 73% of teens use social-networking sites. Most of us are aware of the explosive growth of popular sites like MySpace and Facebook. Social media provide a way for students to socialize and meet new people. But there are also problems associated with social networking. The anonymity of the Internet combined with the impulsivity of youth leads to making poor choices about what is said and what is shared. The growing problem of using technology to bully (cyberbullying) others has led to serious consequences for some students.

I recently wrote a Research Brief on "Social Media" that discusses the issue and provides links to resources that principals can use to reduce the negative effects of social networking. You may want to take a look at the strategies recommended for schools.

As with most technology, there is a positive side and many schools have begun to use social media to improve communication with families and community, to improve instruction, and to access curricular resources. Many of these ideas are also included in the brief.

I would enjoy hearing from you about the challenges, as well as the benefits, you face in using social media.

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