Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not Good Instructional Tools
I remember feeling like a rebellious trailblazer when I first asked my 8th grade students to take out their cell phones for a class activity in the fall of 2009. The 8th graders’ eyes lit up as they reached into their pockets, prized gadgets finally allowed to breath open air after being crammed in with gum, pencils, and crumpled papers. After all, school policy prohibited the devices from being out at all during the school day. I was the cool teacher, seeing beyond the anachronistic policy and bringing 21st-century learning into the classroom.
I’ve always been open to new technologies in the classroomin fact, in 2010 I argued in an Education Week Commentary piece that we were doing students a disservice by not incorporating cell phones into instruction. But over the past two years, I’ve seen or read about too many teachers and students who have become enamored witheven addicted tosocial media and cell phone applications that fail to offer true pedagogical advantage or promote critical thinking. While summarizing is a real skill, do we really want students to further fragment their thoughts and attention in this age of incessant digital distraction and stimuli with 140-character blurbs? Do we want students to spend even more time in front of a screen, bypassing opportunities to...
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