When we talk about the role of technology in the classroom, we must constantly remember that it is not the technology that is good or bad in itself, but the use we make of it. Recent work suggests that social media in the classroom can help young people assert themselves and define themselves. Explanations.
Thrive Using Web 2.0
We hear a lot about the toxicity of certain social media exchanges these days. But we rarely talk about the benefits of healthy use of these, much less when it comes to their use in the classroom. However, through the creation of personal pages, Facebook-type profiles and blogs, young people who use what researchers call Web 2.0 explore and define their identity online (on this subject, see the study Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What path should we take now). These activities, which can be carried out as part of a special project and supervised by a teacher, have several advantages. Young people who get involved find a thousand ways to express themselves, whether by posting photos they have taken on their account or by addressing a personal problem that bothers them. Social media also allows them to compare their ideas and benchmarks by interacting with their peers. Posting an opinion piece can be the starting point for a meaningful discussion that will lead them to reconsider beliefs they thought were strong. In short, the use of these media, like the old methods, leads the adolescent to flourish, but this time with new possibilities.
Help the most vulnerable young people
Here too, researchers are interested in the implementation of social media in schools. Two researchers from Concordia University in Montreal take a look at social media used as a tool for young people to acquire skills "Professional, civic and social that they will exercise throughout their adult life. »Their observations are based on the experiment started at Kekpart House, a community organization in Longueuil that takes care of “at risk” youth. This organization seeks to mobilize young people more in their education. The researchers come to the same conclusion: social media helps young people to forge their identity. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are used in projects that require them to produce content that reflects their personality. These young people, who have lost their motivation at school, find it again thanks to this project because the link between the tasks they learn and those required by the job market is more direct. According to the two researchers, the integration of social media in schools could slow down the dropout because they maintain interest in school among young people.
But beware! If left unchecked, social media will be seen as the enemy stealing the attention of your students. It's up to you to make them a partner to help them achieve!