The Social Media Revolution and impact on schools

September 6, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, Online Learning 

The summer is now officially over as schools have had their influx of students and next week is the first full week back throughout England. One of the biggest changes we are experiencing at Twynham school is managing a large increase in our Sixth Form over the last 3 years and we are close to approaching 400 17 and 18 year olds enrolled last week. One of the big challenges I think schools face with all students aged 11-18 but especially those of Sixth Form age is making online learning relevant. One of the things I have been talking a lot about with colleagues within school and across the country is constant evolution. The things we used for Online Learning two years ago are unlikely to still be relevant today.

At the heart of all this thinking about the need for evolution in Online Learning is the idea of The Social Media Revolution. Over the last two years the Internet has undergone a massive transformation which has changed the way teenagers live their lives. At the moment there is a great video doing the rounds, created in the ‘Shift Happens’ style called The Social Media Revolution. It is very unoriginal of me to stick it on my blog and jump on the bandwagon but if you havent seen it then it is well worth a look.
 
The Social Media Revolution is already having  a profound impact on how we engage with students and how they learn. Those entering the many 6th Form institutions around the country this week joined secondary schools in the same year YouTube and Facebook went live. Having started teaching ten years ago the students I had to teach how to use Microsoft Word then bear no resemblance to the near Digital Natives who spend their life sharing music and videos with each other whilst playing video games with people all over the world. Thinking a further 5 years from now my 6 year old nephew who I have blogged about here and here will be joining secondary school for the first time this week. They are pure digital natives who have only ever sat at a computer in a Web 2.0 world. The Social Media Revolution is coming and in fact is already here. How will you respond?

Comments

2 Responses to “The Social Media Revolution and impact on schools”
  1. Hi Mike,

    You’re abolutely right that the ICT environment is so different from the one our soon to be Y12s experienced when they began Key Stage 3 … let alone Key Stage 1. The ‘C’ in ICT is far more significant now, than when the term first evolved from IT. But about ‘impact;’ I’d agree that social media are indeed having an impact on the way that students learn, but I’d contend that largely the impact has been on the learning that takes place out of school. I’m not sure we have yet begun to fully adapt to incorporate the new communication channels our students employ beyond the school gates, inside them. But hey, the fact that you’ve written this post and I’ve commented on it means that the impact is being felt in certain quarters within schools … we’ve just got a bit further to go before everyone comes on board perhaps?

    Ian

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