Why Should Educators Understand Social Media?

Educators must understand social media, because this is where our children are:


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Is shutting down the device the answer?

Do our kids, and our teachers, understand how powerful social media can be for LEARNING?

Isn’t it ESSENTIAL for our school and system leaders to be fully digitally literate?

Here is a great guide to digital life for teens.

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This Guide to Life Online is Produced by http://mediasmarts.ca/ and available free by clicking on the image.

As school and system leaders in education, how are we preparing our youth to be digital leaders in online environments?

How are we modelling the skills,  aptitudes and behaviours that are appropriate in digital spaces?

4 thoughts on “Why Should Educators Understand Social Media?

  1. Hey Donna, I think I’ve chimed in on a blog maybe once before. 🙂

    A question; with Facebook now 11 years-old Twitter 7+, and Instagram clearly leading the way with almost 100% adoption based on students I teach social media to, why are educators still using future-based words such as “we need to…,” “we should…” “there needs to be…” when speaking about the need for educators, administrators and parents to learn, intimately, how social apps and platforms function, and how to engage students within them.

    From my perspective, and experience, “we need to…” should have changed to “we are…” about five years ago. So, why the ongoing discussion as though these apps are just now making an appearance onto the global stage and into students’ hands? I’m always interested when I read articles like the two, above, you’ve attached, that contain words like “surprised, shocked, disappointed,” and more to describe how students actually, really, IRL, use social apps and platforms. After all, most students are largely defined by their social media presences today.


  2. I completely agree. My inquiry question this year is around “why?”.

    Why are educators so slow to realize this?

    Why am I regarded as a one-dimensional evangelist for digital literacies despite 31 years of experience in all aspects of public education?

    Why is digital leadership still not embraced in PQP and SOQP courses for educators?

    Why is digital citizenship something we think needs to be taught as a subject instead of something to be modelled by all educators?

    Why are digital portfolios not accepted for education positions (when they should be a minimal requirement)?

    I am finding the reasons to be very complex. I look forward to discussing this further as I start sharing this work.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. So many of us feel so much frustration around the slow pace of change. As a wise Anita Simpson said at OTRK12 last spring, say it until you can’t say it any more, then say it again. Thus this post. Again.

  3. I can understand why parents worry so much about children using social media. The research shows that normally children spend 9 hours everyday on social media! That is big distraction. But I have to see there is always distraction, even they just play with mud. As the video said, “children do use the new media to study, do research and email to the teachers So from this point, blocking is not the good way for children, because as you completely prevent the children from using social media, parents also need deprive their opportunities of learning and exploring in a vast world. What we could do as an instructor is to tell them to be socially literate.

  4. One of the things that continues to resonate with me in my new position is that students and teachers need to learn appropriate use early in elementary. I’m finding pictures on social media that make my hair stand on end and I know the kids and I also understand that it’s ignorance that drives some of this behaviour. When they get “caught”, the only thing that matters to them is “who told you?” They don’t realize how public social media is. They’ll post inappropriate pictures and text on instagram that is available to the whole world and can be easily traced back to them but they would never dream of posting the same on a bulletin board at school which could be less likely traced back to them? The one thing that is glaringly obvious is that they have ideas to express but they need to channel that expression positively. The people around them – parents, teachers – need to model appropriate behaviour. Our schools have been hosting math nights for parents. Why can’t we find a way to host social media nights for parents?

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