On The Daily Grind teacher-blogger Mr. McNamar muses that the P.A. systems used each morning in schools around the country are woefully out of date. Even those savvier schools doing TV broadcasts are behind the times. He writes:
In a generation where schools are constantly looking to draw their students in and engage them, it seems to me that we are missing many great opportunities to deliver messages through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube. Schools are still fearful of these social media sites, and the result is a greater divide between the students and the school leaders.
Charlie Osborne, a former teacher who blogs on iGeneration at ZDNet, recently wrote a piece that could help explain both Mr. McNamar’s frustrations and schools’ fears. She offers a dozen pros and a dozen cons for using social media in schools. One con is that it exposes the “have nots"—or those students who don’t have “smart” devices. But at least in the case of doing announcements, teachers could project a Twitter feed on the board rather than asking students to use their own phones.
I’m thinking that the main reason schools continue to use PA systems it that, well, they’re there. Easier to use an existing platform than install a new setup in every classroom, right, or train teachers and administrators to adapt a new system? Not that that’s a legitimate excuse for rejecting advancements that could potentially engage students and save class time ...
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.