Why don’t schools feel obligated to take on the issues of social media use by students head on? Why do most schools set up policies that limits access to social media? Is it lack of understanding or lack of confidence in the ability to control it? Why does it seem like we are reactive to student issues related to social media use rather than be proactive?
The way I look at it, we as educators, MUST tackle social media in the same manner we address all other social issues. We should interact with students using social media and we must model appropriate behavior. This is no different than than what we do at school every single day. Social media and technology has extended our ability to be social, and in the process it has created new teaching opportunities.
So, here is what I propose. Let’s teach kids all the things we learned in kindergarten…again! But let’s do it with social media and technology. Let’s be role models for behavior in all aspects of our lives and our students. Don’t we have more to gain as a society if we teach kids to engage each other appropriately, honestly and with integrity in all aspects of their world? Social media and internet safety are not new concepts, it’s the same stuff we have been teaching FOREVER! The only difference is that the landscape has changed significantly and it can be scary. The more we ignore or put these issues on someone else’s plate the longer it will take for young people to understand just how important this is! Too many people have already made mistakes that have cost them dearly (college admission, job loss…etc).
Let me know what you think.