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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The Butterfly Effect: K-12 OER and Open Learning

Doctoral Student & Technology for Learning Specialist Editorial | By Verena Roberts

I was asked to work with Dr Connie Blomgren as a subject matter expert (SME) for the ABOER grant, Multiplying Open Educational Resources (OER) Impact: Building In-service Teacher OER Capacity for Graduate Credit. The goal of Butterfly Effectthe project was to create digital content in the form of podcasts and videos to support Athabasca University’s BOLT program. I was excited to be asked to contribute to such a project because of my passion around open learning. As an open learner, I strive to promote the sharing of ideas and resources to promote access to learning for all and to build knowledge around the world.

Lorenz’s butterfly effect about organizational leadership’s chaos theory asks, “‘Does the flap of a butterfly wing in Tokyo, affect a tornado in Texas (or a thunderstorm in New York)?” (Wheatley, 1992, p.117) I am intrigued with the idea that something as small and as fragile as a butterfly can have such a huge impact on the world. Continue reading “The Butterfly Effect: K-12 OER and Open Learning”