Unfortunately for me, Twitter and Facebook hadn’t actually been invented when I was at secondary school. All we had was a basic version of Myspace and MSN messenger to keep us occupied and even then we couldn’t access it on our phones. Thank goodness those days are over! Times have changed and now social media is just a fumble in a handbag away, which can be absolute hell when you’re settling down for class and somebody has just re-tweeted you.
Whether teachers like it or not, social media is here to stay. They may think you’re wasting precious study time on Youtube watching cat videos (I know I’m not the only one) or waiting for One Direction to retweet you (Again, not alone here) but what if Twitter could be used as a learning tool? Recently, more and more schools have been hopping on the social media bandwagon and allowing the use of social networking sites into the classroom. Hurray!
‘Live tweeting’ is a great way for those of us who hate putting our hands up first to get involved. Teachers allow you to tweet your thoughts and facts on a particular subject and then project it back to the classroom so everybody can see what’s going on. It’s almost like an online classroom where you can participate by posting things about the work. Some teachers use Twitter to connect with their pupils and answer questions about lessons or homework that has been set. And it’s not just Twitter. Some schools are getting pupils to write blog posts and contribute to school websites.
Technology and social media are going to be a massive part of your future so it’s great to learn how to use it appropriately from a young age. But how distracting would it be to have your phone at your fingertips during class? If learning about the Romans doesn’t interest you it would be far too easy to just skip on over to Harry Styles’ Twitter page and roam around for an hour…or two. There’s also the very upsetting issue of the dreaded Twitter troll. Would the use of Twitter in the classroom increase the risk of bullying? Perhaps. It’s definitely a tricky subject and would, sadly, be down to the teacher whether they were willing to allow social media into their classroom.
Learning should be engaging and modern, none of this copying out of a textbook rubbish. Let’s face it, most lessons can be pretty boring so anything that would make them slightly more interesting is welcome. Whether that’s by the use of social media in the classroom or getting the cool, easily influenced supply teacher to buy you sweets or let you act out a science practical through expressive dance rather than actually doing the work – it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s going to be a little while longer before the use of Twitter in the classroom is accepted by everybody and every school. Until then, we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer and find out who re-tweeted you once class has finished.
Words by Maddi Cole