Social media platforms and the internet are currently very hotly debated, with sometimes worrying links between their usage and serious issues being drawn. However, there not everything is bad about them – they have some very, very good points as well as the bad. Today, many schools are taking advantage of these new tools available to them – here are just three of the ways the internet and social media in schools are beneficial.
Schools are increasingly using social media platforms to communicate school news, make announcements and provide other useful information to students and parents alike. By using communication methods familiar to young people, it is more likely that pupils will engage in school life and be aware of exciting opportunities. Online platforms also offer room for pupils and staff to interact and bring up any issues, be they personal or to do with the school. It also opens a (supervised) space where the students can interact.
Staying focused and engaged throughout the entirety of the school day has always been a challenge, but especially now for young people who just about learned how to text before they did walk. What’s more, not every teaching style is suitable for each individual pupil, which is where the internet is a real gift. From academic papers to kid-friendly learning sites such as BBC Bitesize, the internet has it all. Even YouTube has some great learning materials. By exploring different platforms, pupils are sure to find something that clicks for them which can be hugely encouraging for those who genuinely struggle to learn in a classroom environment.
Gone are the days when doing research meant trawling through stacks and stacks of books at the library. Today, although still a very time-consuming business, it is so much easier and faster for pupils (and people in general) to find the information that they really want. Expert opinions and academic papers and journals are now available at the press of a button and even books can be accessed and read online (many free of charge). Keeping track of and organising research is also easier than ever, with online platforms such as Google Drive allowing documents to be shared and worked on simultaneously by numerous people, facilitating group work.
Social media in schools or not?
These are just three of the ways schools have started to use the internet and social media to improve the school experience for their pupils – does your school use these tools? What’s your opinion on their use in a school setting?