Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So Who "Teaches" Social Media"?

An interesting moment occurred in a recent professional development meeting.  We were agreeing that we all liked a student (CBL) challenge that began, "Use social media to convince . . . ."  This was direct, punchy, clear, actionable -- all the qualities that one could want at the heart of a Challenge Based Learning project.  But then I asked how the "social media" piece would be contextualized.  In other words, what kind of instruction about social media would the teachers give their minions before setting them loose.

It's fair to say there was an uncomfortable pause.

I think some of us  assume that the students have lots of savvy about social media. But in fact while many tool around merrily on Tumblr, Facebook, or YouTube, they have never been asked to market something or persuade someone using these tools.  They go as consumers for entertainment, photo-swapping, chat. One teacher wistfully hoped that 9th graders might be able to take a social media through a course.  However, I think most of us could see that something so pervasive as social media has to be addressed across the curriculum.

So we have lots more to discuss.  If you do as well, please join the conversation at the Drive-thru!

Flickr CC photo by Ivan Walsh

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