Simple question, tough answer for some. Let’s take a few different perspectives to better frame the various arguments about teaching social media in school.
The Parent Perspective: social media can be dangerous for my kids because of online predators and bullying
The Teacher’s Perspective: how can someone possibly teach social media, it changes every single day
The Business Perspective: social media has quickly changed the business landscape, we want and need our employees to use their social media networks to further the company
The Student’s Perspective: i absolutel lov soc media n uz it evry dy rgardlss
So which perspective wins the argument about whether social media should be taught in the classroom? Can teachers actually teach social media? Is there really a benefit to the students when it comes to finding a job? Do students really need to be taught social media anyway?
I would argue yes, yes, and yes.
Social media has quickly revolutionized communication and has yet to fully reach its potential for business advertising, personal productivity and societal benefit. Businesses are just now starting to realize the potential of marketing to the friends of customers who have purchased their products, of dynamically leveraging relationships, and identifying niche consumer personas. The sheer amount of data available to the world through social media has ushered in an era of personalization that has quickly put to bed mass media and trusted advertising best practices.
To put it simply, social media is shaking things up, and it’s a long way from finished.
So how many billions of users does facebook have to register before schools start to realize that teaching social media in the classroom not only makes sense, but is sorely needed? How many kids using social media today realize that their lewd photos and comments will be available to future employers, spouses, kids, family, etc long past those awkward teenage years?
Not only does social media privacy need to be explained for common sense purposes, but protecting kids from predators and online scams needs to be reinforced and revisited by schools again and again. The internet knows no bounds, and simply assuming that students already know everything there is to know about social media is a gross misunderstanding.
And what of the benefits of social media? Do students know how to market their own business ideas? Find like-minded individuals for support and help? Harness tools to organize their work and lives? Or are they just REALLY good at Angry Birds?
Companies like HydroWorx International, McDonalds, and Apple were all formed from partnerships. How much easier it is now for people to find potential partners and help through using social media than it ever has in the past!
It’s time we stop talking about whether teaching social media in schools is a good idea and start doing it. So what if there’s not a tried and true method for teachers to bring social media into the classroom. Trial and error is so often underrated. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a local social media club, an internet marketing company, or a regional community college even. There are lots and lots of options.
Are you supportive of getting social media into the curriculum of schools for young kids? Why or why not?