Let’s Not (Use Social Media in School)

Yeo, M. L. (2014). Social Media and Social Networking Applications for Teaching and

Learning.  European Journal Of Science And Mathematics Education, 2(1), 53-62.

Yeo (2014) attempted to persuade the reader that using Facebook and YouTube videos for learning has benefits such as the ability to create and share videos, social networking, peer feedback, and reflective thinking.  Because using these two forms of social media is popular, and because it supports constructivist theory, Yeo supports including the technologies into a regular face-to-face classroom.  “The necessity of face-to-face-lessons for communication and for the facilitation of academic and formal learning” (Yeo, 2014, p. 53) exists, but “it is no longer sufficient” (p. 53).  It is unfortunate that Yeo (2014) is so convinced of this inclusion, because students themselves do not want Facebook and YouTube to be used for formal, academic endeavors planned by the school.  As shared in the article, they want to be able to use these tools informally (Yeo, 2014).

This frustrating article never did change the tone or purpose, in spite of evidence from student quotations that yes, it is interesting to be in contact with a professor through Facebook, but they would rather just use their social media for informal interactions.  The students enjoyed learning from Facebook and YouTube, but they felt that the distractions inherent in those tools make the tools inappropriate for formal academic learning.

I enjoyed the topic because I have a teen who uses these tools for exactly that.  I have not seen her school try to incorporate these exact tools into any lessons. I have seen schools incorporate Twitter and that seemed adequate for brief discussions on a topic.  There aren’t any tools from social media that I would seek to research.  I think that just because something supports constructivist theory, it should not necessarily become part of the curriculum.  Perhaps research will continue to offer directives.

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