The Value of Social Media For Schools

by A Guest Author

Many anxieties surround combining social media with educational establishments. The concern is that it is a difficult area to control and it only takes one poorly placed piece of social content to cause a lot of headaches. There are also on-going concerns around ‘trolling’ (online bullying) and whether it is wrong to allow students and teachers to form online friendships through social networks. The truth is that social media is just another form of communication and, unfortunately, you may well face the same issues that occur in everyday social situations, such as inappropriate language and bullying. However, if run correctly, and with the right guidelines in place, the positives benefits can far outweigh the risks associated with social media.

One of the benefits of using social media is that it is very cost-effective and easy to use. Questions and resources can easily be dropped onto these networks and students, parents or colleagues can pick these up for free, when and wherever they need them. Many schools have started to use social media to distribute newsletters because of the cost benefit. Most students and parents are on social media sites already, so it is a familiar environment, meaning that your content is more likely to be picked up.

Many schools have discovered that a Facebook page allows them to really engage with their community and helps to build a positive school ‘brand’, which in-turn encourages parents to send their children to the school.

If a school doesn’t have the resource to monitor a Facebook page and they are concerned about problems arising through poorly placed comments, then they are able to switch off the ability for people to post comments onto the page. If you clearly offer your audience another route to contact you, e.g. an email address, then this method is perfectly acceptable. If you begin to find that a lot of users are using your Facebook page, then you may decide to open the comment functionality at a later stage.

As an opportunity to find and interact with educational resources, social media should definitely be considered because it provides a new type of learning that may help to engage those students who struggle with traditional learning methods. This can also be said for students who find it hard to discuss their feelings in everyday classroom activities as it provides another means for them to interact.

Social media is here to stay and we should help children to use it successfully, after all, it is another form of communication and they are likely to need it in later life – to find work, grow relationships and market themselves. By introducing children to social media through a controlled environment (in the classroom, or via education) you may help to eliminate problems at a later date, as children become familiar with how to use online networks safely. A school’s main role is to help children to prepare for the adult world, to educate and to nurture them to become happy and successful adults. Social media is increasingly utilised in our adult lives and it will benefit children to be introduced to the online social world at a school level.

About The Author:

Written by Samantha Luther, an education blogger with a background of working in independent schools

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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