This week we had the privilege of having Mary Beth Hertz guest lecture our EC&I class. This was an eye opening experience for myself as I learned quite a bit about some technology aspects and education that I probably would not have spent time on with my students. When we started the class Mary Beth talked about how she spends time with her students asking simple questions that quite frankly I would not have. I was completely blown away at how these questions absolutely should be covered, however. Questions such as: What is the internet? What is an IP? What are domains? What are cookies?
I get caught up in the fact that students, quite possibly, know more about the internet that I do, so there were some initial assumptions by myself that I need to address and adjust to within my learning environment. Addressing these initial important questions about the vast world that is the internet, is critical to the understanding and growth of students in a digital age.
Another aspect of the conversation that really struck a chord with me was a quote that Mary Beth references from Dayna Boyd, “Teens aren’t addicted to social media, they are addicted to each other.” I thought that this was oddly profound and made complete sense. What would happen if there weren’t many students on Snapchat, Instagram or Tik Tok? Thinking about this more I realized that this has happened with Facebook. Not many students are on Facebook or at least use it as much as the other outlets that they have. This very well could be simply because their friends and acquaintances are also not using it, so why bother? Social media is about connecting with others and updating with video’s, pictures, and text…if there is a vacancy of friends on those apps why use them? It’s the fear of missing out (here is a great article on FOMO) that has students, and adults, using these outlets. We want to be seen, noticed and liked as much as possible, validation is massive to students and social media outlets are where they get that validation and attention.
Schools are the perfect place for students to learn about social media tools and how to use them responsibly and efficiently. If our future generations can harness the skills to effectively balance and learn about the risks about using social media, then the future looks bright!