Monday, February 14, 2011

Social Media - The Weapon of The Revolution

Social media has hit the news recently with some very interesting applications, it has been used to connect and create revolution to overturn despots.  Most notably in Egypt, which has gained the most press coverage, but it also played an important role in the earlier overthrow in Tunisia.  These sites became so important that the internet was actually "turned off" in Egypt to prevent the organization of the protesters demanding change.  With such broad applications there is no wonder that it is a useful tool for education when applied in a mature and reasonable manner.
These sites connect people quickly and without much effort.  Therefore, it can be done from anywhere a person has a computer and internet access.  Assignments can be reached from home and parents can stay completely up to date on the school and class activities if the teacher utilizes these sites and keeps them up to date.  Also, using blogs and skype can put people in touch with one another over great distances and engages students to use the medium that they are proficient on, such as the computer and these networking sites.
I think it can be seen quite clearly that these sites are powerful tools for organization and for informing people.  The connection and attraction they have is undeniable and neglecting the use of them in education only sets up to deny what is taking place around us.  Keep the revolution alive!!!


  1. The backlash in Egypt was certainly interesting, the first thing the government did was cut off communications, which makes sense I suppose if you are trying to "contain" the situation for lack of a better word.

    In education, we should teach the proper uses of technology and the internet. However, like your last post with the article in it said, I too am a little worried if maybe all this access to so much technology and information might be making us a little lazy. What is it doing to our critical thinking skills? I can just google that. Nonetheless I think we should try to use this in education and in the classroom, responsibly.

  2. It is true that the internet is a very powerful tool and with great power comes great responsiblility. heh heh. But seriously with such an important tool there are always going to be pros and cons and that is why we have to make students aware of how to use the internet responsibly and like I said on my blog make them good digital citizens. We have to help students use the internet appropriately such as using class blogs or wikis and using the internet appropriately for research. I truly believe using the internet in the classroom can only create a positive environment if used correctly.

  3. I would like to comment on something Mr. D said.
    "The backlash in Egypt was certainly interesting, the first thing the government did was cut off communications, which makes sense I suppose if you are trying to "contain" the situation for lack of a better word."
    This observation is explicitly true, and it speaks directly to WHY educators NEED to use social media to benefit student learning. Social media facilitates communication and organization like no other tool before it. In fact, this increases exponentially when students have smart phones, which allows for unparallel access to their PLNs through social media. Like the government of Egypt, the only reason we (teachers, administrators, school boards) would want to cut off communication would be in fear of what could happen; in other words, to “contain” the situation. However, I believe by filtering, blocking, and discouraging social media use, we are limiting learning by discouraging collaboration. As educators we have to remember that knowledge (the education system’s goal for all students to be able to attain) is NOT linear, it IS networked. Therefore, we need to allow for... no wait... encourage tools that allow for networking. Social media is that tool.