With social media becoming increasingly popular in today’s “connected” culture, it seems inevitable that it would invade the ranks of education. It appears to be doing just that, albeit very slowly. Teachers are resistant to change. Tradition runs deep in the education sector and social media is a very young kid on the proverbial block. Whether contributing to a wiki project, being part of a discussion board, communicating through Facebook, sharing online bookmarks through sites such as Delicious or Diigo, or using Skype to bring an expert into the classroom, participants in this study agreed that students are interacting, collaborating, building community, and networking. These skills are needed to keep students successful in the future. They are process skills that may not be specifically stated in any skill set put forth by any Department of Education, but they are certainly eluded to, especially in the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
Many naysayers of social media are slowly starting to change their tune. Just a year or two ago it would have been common to overhear a comment that went something like this: “With all of the computer stuff like Facebook and MySpace, kids are becoming less and less communicative, Before long, they will not be able to talk to each other at all”. Actually, it seems the opposite is true. Students are becoming more and more communicative. While they are using a computer keyboard to do it, they are still learning how to communicate through verbal and written expression like never before. Negative comments seem to be fewer and farther between as we go.