“Banning” social media is not an option. Some people probably think that they can do it; they cannot. It will not work. And it shouldn’t What we really need to do is educate students on how to use it. Funny, eh? Education is the answer.
Today more than ever, people are capable of publishing their thoughts to a vast audience. Comments, tweets, and status updates are ubiquitous and constant. However, are we really focusing on the quality of the message we are putting out there? Are we really providing useful information or are we just adding to the noise?
Simply giving students a blogger ID and a twitter username is not enough. Unless they are working to develop the skills necessary to effectively convey their message to a receptive audience, then the value of the message is diluted. If that same student stood at a podium with a microphone, yet has not prepared a speech and has trouble using proper grammar, this student’s message could be lost on his or her audience. However, in this world of instant communication our students have the opportunity to engage and share with a global audience. As educators, we cannot let this chance slip by.