Are students ready for Social Media tools?

It seems as if they were…

Sometimes teachers feel that dealing with online tools will be a piece of cake as students are believed to hold a great command of internet resources. They are generally thought to have been “born” wish certain techno skills that , as a matter of fact, they do not own.

“The kids who come to my class often feel they are very knowledgeable about technology. Many of them have their own laptops. They have had an email address for several years and have been downloading music, using an IM program, and playing Flash based games online for some time. Unfortunately, when it comes to using technology for learning, for accessing information in new ways and from new places, they are novices and need to be taught many information access, evaluation, and representation skills.”

 

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Should we set up Online Social Media Skills before jumping onto the English syllabus as planned?

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6 Comments

Filed under Students and Teachers

6 responses to “Are students ready for Social Media tools?

  1. Gabriela Sellart

    I could be the teacher of that boy in the cartoon. I assumed my students knew more than I did, and they didn’t. Even registering to blogger and wikispaces took ages. As we didn’t have access to computers at school (and even though I had prepared tutorials), I got mad helping them individually though emails and MSN.
    Next year I’ll assume they know as much about technology as they do about present perfect. I promise.

  2. I feel a kind of deja vous when reading your words Gabriela.

    Good point. And lots of issues to analyze and actions to “re-plan”.

  3. I’ve also noticed with my own kids as well as others that many adults believe them to be much more proficient in technical media than they really are. This is what I’ve found:
    They have less respect for ruining the computer and so they are more willing to try things out.
    They only use a select number of tools, determined by what others are using, and more often for socializing with friends.
    But what they really need is guidance in using these tools for other purposes.
    So yes, in my opinion, there is a need to train social media skills.

    Btw- my sons (13 and 16) enjoy teasing me about how I can’t use the computer. This seems to be the picture they feel more comfortable with (they as superior users), and yet they complain when I am on the computer for a longer period of time!

  4. I agree that students may have extensive knowledge of technology, but it isn’t very deep. What they can do, they do well, but beyond that, they are often lost.

    Your question is what intrigues me, though. “Should we set up Online Social Media Skills before jumping onto the English syllabus as planned?” My goal is to find ways to combine the two. Do you think that is possible in your situation?

  5. Hi Alicia,
    I came to your blog by chance since I am also taking sessions at EVO this year but not the Social Media one (I participated in Open Webpublishing last year with Bee and Patricia)
    Anyway, your post was so thought-provoking that I could not help posting a comment.
    I teach at a university where most fields deal with engineering and basic sciences. It also has a very strict and difficult entrance policy (until now, our government wants to change that to “open” it to the masses). So you will think that our students -future engineers, mathematicians, etc.- would be very knowledgeable members of the Google generation … Several years ago I used the word “television” the first day of class as an example to have them define, describe, classify and compare-contrast it, because those are the functions we cover in the first level. In the past years I have used the word “blog” instead and just a couple in a class of 30 know or have read or set one, even this term. I also have an anecdote from around five years back when I had a student who had missed a quiz, took it in my office and was present when I entered his quiz grade in an excel spreadsheet. He was astounded when I got his grade so fast … he did not know what excel was all about. He was from the countryside, I might have to add, and at least 25% of our students are … which does not mean that all of them are not computer savvy. Your question in this post is very relevant indeed.

    So great to have visited you here in your blog.
    All the best,
    Berta

  6. Thanks for your comment ,Berta. The situation you described may very well happen in Argentina. Latin America’s similarities?

    Shall I share another situation with you?

    I’ve just been on my Google Reader and one of my favourite bloggers wrote this
    http://remoteaccess.typepad.com/remote_access/2008/01/choosing-tools.html

    What an irony…

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