The first point: when going through grueling private school research, many of the schools spoke of their focus on public speaking. At the time I thought this is kindergarten we’re talking about, how strange, I just want my son to learn his ABC’s and 1,2,3’s. But it’s a vastly different world now then it was when many of us grew up. But isn’t social media a form of public speaking? My personal perspective is that social media has taught my daughter how to present herself to the world. She’s learned how to be clever in 140 characters and the importance of networking and connections. Her blog is a form of creative writing and critical thinking. When she blogs, it’s teaching her poise and self confidence which are invaluable skills. And she has used those skills to parlay a fashion passion into a Twitter following that has led an internship next summer.
Second, education is changing rapidly. Kids of the future will have e-textbooks loaded on tablets like the iPad that they take everywhere. My son has already swiped mine to take to the classroom and to write papers. My children spend so much time on the web for papers and research. They also use it to access their classmates by using Skype to test each other when quizzes and tests arise. Teachers send them online to take practice tests and show them links to appropriate sites where they can search for content. Whether we like it or not, they are online. Why not use the technology for learning and to set the stage for the new world we live in. And teach them the proper way to use social media.
• Schools could take classroom content and turn it into video content that could live on a school YouTube channel making the lessons easily available for test review, covering sick days, and informing substitute teachers.
• Video chatting with schools around the world could teach our children about different cultures and customs.
• Imagine schools using Foursquare to help students meet up to do group research projects. Or to arrange study groups.
• Dare to imagine schools on Facebook uploading test reminders, video content, encouraging crowdsourced thinking and posing challenges and ideation.
• Teach reputation management skills and how to promote one’s personal brand when it comes to college entrances.
• And why not teach children how to use social media for community service. Every school requires so many hours per year why not teach the exponential power of social media and cause related initiatives?
Interesting topic to think about, right?