Schools face a difficult decision when it comes to social media. The social media scene has exploded for middle and high school aged students. The social media environment offers a place for students to express their feelings, build friendships, receive advice, and gain popularity. However, some dangers do lurk within social media. Schools must decide to filter or open social media. If schools decide to filter, then which sites are blocked and which are not. My posting lists several specific problems that schools face when allowing students access to social media.
According to Nancy Willard (2011) from Education World, social media attract many teens, some of who make poor choices. Willard also points out that many parents do not pay attention to what their children post on the social media sites. Additional, she inserts that teens add many friends that they may not know just to increase the number of friends on their list. Many predators take advantage of the unknowing teens who accepts all friend requests.
Moreover, Davis (2010) from Digital Directions stress that schools must follow the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which does not allow children under the age of 13 to join social media sites. However, thousands of students under age 13 have social media sites. Additionally, schools must follow the Children’s Internet Protection Act which protects students from offensive content over the Internet. Davis also points out that if students are not taught proper etiquette in social media at school, then chances are they will not learn how to act appropriately and will become abusive in social media.
Furthermore, the Huffington Post (2012) reports that teachers who friend students in social media run the possibility of engaging in inappropriate relationships. The Huffington Post also sites exposure to inappropriate content, sexual predators, cyberbullying, and harassment as main reasons to avoid allowing social media into the school environment.
Social media is a new medium and phenomena that people are still trying to define. Social media does not behave like anything experienced in the past. Additionally, the characteristics of social media are dynamic and adapt well to many situations. Due to the adaptability of social media, it is hard for schools to filter, leverage, block, or promote. Many cultural changes must take place and challenges overcome before social media’s potential is unlocked within schools.
Davis, M. R. (2010). Social Networking Goes to School. Digital Connections. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03networking.h03.html.
Huffington Post. (2012). Social Networking in Schools: Educators Debate the Merits of Technology in Classrooms. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/27/social-networking-schools_n_840911.html.
Willard, N. (2011). Schools and Online Social Networking. Education World. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues/issues423.shtml.