Twitter is just about 6 years old now. It’s incredible how many people are on this social networking site. In searching people to follow you discover more about topics you’re interested in (such as Spanish or education or photography) as well as having an avenue to share interesting online resources for those who follow you. I’m amazed at how many educators use this in an academic sense. I’ve enjoyed seeing some of the ideas others have. Some are more dedicated than others and tweet several times a week. Others seem to sign-up only to left it fall to the wayside. It all depends on how much time you can invest into it as well as your desire to. I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue with it once I’m in the classroom. I’ll be busy with lesson planning and whatever extra curricular activities I’ll be tied to. Some people I’ve followed tweet so frequently that it’s distracting and prevent others’ tweets from being on my news feed. The book and articles have led to some good people to follow and emphasize the availability of good educational information.
Student use of social media truly depends on specific students’ dispositions. Reflecting on people in my high school some make appropriate use; others use it for purposes that are not befitting of a high school student. Facebook and Twitter have many benefits, but are also plagued by those who misuse it. You can organize and advertise an event or share too much information that isn’t for public consumption or slander others for your own advancement. Some sites are more adaptable or geared toward educational purposes. Diigo is wonderful for class projects and sharing information. Twitter can connect students to others around the world for information. I believe social media can be incorporated in the classroom. However, before starting that kind of adventure, the teacher should address the issues of security, privacy, and legitimacy with students. If the standards are firmly set from the beginning, students will be more cautious and smart when using the social media tools for education. If someone abuses the system, teachers should punish with appropriate measures to prevent other students from misusing it and challenging the system.