Last week there was a story on the news about 17-year-old quarterback, Kevin Curwick. He started a social media account at his Minnesotan high school that only tweeted nice things about his classmates to counteract bullying. It even spread to other schools in the area who picked up on the trending kindness.
Not all social media media stories are horror stories. Real people have actually achieved positive goals through social media. Individuals have lead campaigns for social changes, raised awareness, and united people who would have never interacted in day-to-day life in social accounts. In order to release the inner beauty of social media, it must fly free.
It at least has to be allowed. Kids can’t learn how to use Twitter correctly if it’s blocked on school computers. Not enough kids have apps on their phone to access YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter from their phones, so only allowing kids to access social media from their phones in the classroom would put the ones who don’t have smartphones at a disadvantage. Social media websites must be unblocked on the school’s network.
Even though social media seems like a vast, insurmountable unknown, it’s not going to cause a fight, murder, or mass riot to break out in the school. Students are not going to cyberbully each other under supervision of a teacher at school. The vast majority are not going to click on porn websites. If you do your job and teach them how to identify spam accounts and how to block them, there shouldn’t be any problems. All of this ties back into last week’s tip of “Trust your students.” You should be confident in the resources you give them to make the right decision. The only way to give students a multi-dimensional, 21st century education is to embrace the technology available. Let students become competent and savvy in the social media realm.