The press is increasingly featuring stories that warn of the negative impacts of social media on school age children. Popular public social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are regularly blamed for sinister activities including cyber bullying, stalking and even gang violence.
Many believe, however, that the long-term educational benefits of social media far outweigh the risks. Most schools already use the Internet for teaching, and social media concepts are already essential elements in the lives of most students of Key Stage 2 and above.
Schools are already beginning to incorporate ways of using Facebook-like tools such as discussion forums, photo albums, blogs and secure messaging to develop subject learning through closer collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Safe Social Networking Tools are Available!
What’s required by schools is a means of controlling the perceived risks associated with social media. Banning is one solution. The other – dare we say more productive! – option is for schools to incorporate purpose-built internal social networking software as part of their ICT portfolio.
Webanywhere has developed Student Jotter as a way for students to share their work with peers within their social network, turning academic work into fun. Student Jotter avoids the dangers associated with social media use at school. Teachers can monitor and moderate everything that students post online, and third party influences by advertisers or other sources of inappropriate content are completely eliminated.
Social media used for teaching enables students to comment and critique each other’s work, collaborate in teams, and to securely send messages to each other and their teacher with queries or to start a discussion.
There are undoubted dangers in children using public social networks and schools cannot afford to take these risks lightly. However safe internal solutions are now available that schools can entrust to their students, providing them with familiar cutting edge technology and creating controlled social learning networks within the classroom and at home.
Visit the website of Student Jotter, our innovative system
for e-Portfolios and Secure Social Networking to see how it can benefit schools.