There is no doubt that we are living in a Technological Age. Students today are interested in the newest and latest advancements in computer devices and software. As teachers teachers, we can use the students' interests in social media to capture their attention while teaching them the new technologies the world has to offer. A number of teachers have already incorporated social media into their lesson plans. It is the new way teaching.

The statistics speak for themselves. The popularity of social network and media sites is shown through the number of people that use the sites every day. A number of surprising facts and statistics about social media can be found on videos on youtube.

Teachers, do not be afraid! Thanks to the vast popularity and the plethora of information on the internet, there are websites that give inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom. Dr. Michael Wesch of Kansas State University presents how he uses social media in his classroom in this video. RSS feeds are a great way to discover the latest articles about a given subject. There are a number of great ideas out there. Research and explore to determine which would most benefit your classroom.

Pearson Education conducted a survey called Social Media in Higher Education. The some of the goals of the survey were to determine how many falculty were using social media, which media do those teachers use for teaching, and do they find it valuable? Pearson discovered that over 80% of faculty use social media, they communicate with students most through outube and facebook, and most facult believe social media adds value to a course. Social media "extends the classroom," "talk to [the students] in the language they are using," and is "good for review and reinforcement."

Although there are some clear benefits to using social media in the classroom, implementing it needs to be done carefully. Younger students have probably not been exposed to any type of social media. However, middle school and high school students most likely have accounts to one or more to a social media site. Pick activities that are appropriate for the age you are teaching.

Social media seems to be a modern term, but its history can be traced back to the 1950s during "Phone Phreaking." Then late '70s brought about the next advancement as Buletin Board Systems (BBS) were developed. Around this same time, corporations attempted to bring Online Services to the masses. The world-wide-web became public on August 6, 1991, despite existing since the late '60s. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was invented in 1988. After that, IM (Instant Messenger) was created 1996. The first social network, SixDegrees, apeared in 1997. In 2008, the trends became real-time stream.

Social Media Chart
Social Media Chart

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