Social Media in K-12 Schools

Teacher Editorial  |  By Dawn Rothwell

Social Media Access in K-12 Schools

Photo Credit: William Iven
Photo Credit: William Iven

As a high school teacher and administrator, I have witnessed both the positive and negative effects of social media in the classroom for teenagers.  It is easy to implicate social media as a distractor for students in the classroom, as well you would not have to wander very far to bump into a teacher who has some story about how social media has been used for cyberbullying.  As a result of these concerns, educational policy makers have introduced a variety of Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) over the years to monitor and control students’ use and access to technology based on competing policy frames (Ahn, Bivona, & DiScala, 2011).  Should school policies be framed in safety (to monitor and block student access to new technologies) or should policies be framed in media literacy (to integrate and teach students how to utilize new technologies within the classroom)?  Our experiences as parents and educators during the rise of social media has fueled the debate regarding the merits of social networking in schools.  What is the suitability of social media use in K-12 schools?  To help address this question, I have turned to a recent review of research-based literature conducted by Greenhow and Askari (2017), to further help inform us on these current issues in education regarding the use of social network media (SNS).

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International Education and Online Learning – The Necessary Networks!

Teacher Editorial | By T. A. Driedger

bolt1In the happenstance of career pathways, I was able to interrupt my decades of teaching and leading in rural Alberta with two recent international travels, one to an Alberta accredited school in Qatar (2014) and another to a BC certified campus in South Korea (2017).  Both offshore learning environments reminded me very much of my earliest years in a small Alberta school surrounded by long and seemingly empty distances – far from my colleagues and their enviable urban density.  I, like these new global educators, was eager to form collaborations, to grow a bank of professional resources and proven skill-sets. The universal need was and is to feel less isolated as a novice educator (Sleppin, 2009). My own outreach became dependent on my teamwork for Alberta Education – where I could grow my contact base and resource knowledge while conducting the contracted research.  For young academics in their cross-border adventures, I would also suggest designated time, segments fostered in a continuum of digital dialogues and framed by their own research design.

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