As the use of social networking becomes commonplace in our everyday lives, plans to use social networking in schools has met growing opposition, and the efficacy of social networking as a teaching tool is being challenged. The decision on whether or not to utilize these internet-based social networking sites can be complicated, as teachers and administrators weight the benefits and risks of the tools.
Supporters for social learning in education observe that students see technology as an everyday tool and for these students, integrating social networking as part of the curriculum can provide numerous benefits. Detractors see social networking as a distraction to learning, and a potential risk to students. Fearing that it will undermine the value of in-person learning, they are pushing to have it blocked from classrooms.
I agree that the use of social networking in schools is a valuable tool. Social networking is an effective method for removing borders in communication, engaging students in global learning, and enriching curriculum by making available previously unreachable resources. Social networking provides students a number of alternative ways to do research and collaborate with peers. These methods include social networking site, blogs, podcasts, discussion boards, and the sharing of videos. The value of social networking far outweighs the risks to students, and its use should be encouraged as part of standard curriculum.
Social networks began to enter mainstream use between 2003 and 2004, when web sites such as Myspace, Facebook and LinkedIn were launched. Around this same time the process of podcasting was introduced and image sharing sites such as Flickr let pe...
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Kurthakoti, R., Boostrom Jr., R. E., Summey, J. H., & Campbell, D. A. (2013). Enhancing Classroom Effectiveness Through Social Networking Tools. Marketing Education Review, 23, 251-263. http://dx.doi.org/DOI: 10.2753/MER1052-8008230304
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