Sunday, April 22, 2012

Social Media Critique

Xiuyan Wu
Prof. Doucet
                                                  Social Media Critique
    Over the past 15 years, social media became one of the most important communication platforms for people and in particular adolescents. Since adolescents spend a lot of time on the internet, they probably receive some positive and negative influences by using the social networks, such as Twitter and MySpace. Therefore, parents, teachers and communities need to be more aware of those social networks.
     Twitter is one of the most common and popular social networks that adolescents use in their daily lives. People from different parts of the world can share information through Twitter. Basically, adolescents can write anything on Twitter and upload it to the internet. Meanwhile, they can read other people’s posts and write comments on them. Once teachers incorporate Twitter as one of their teaching tools, students will learn more sufficiently in the daily bases.   
Twitter can be used as an online discussion tool for teachers and students. Basically, the teacher can open a discussion group on Twitter. Since mathematics requires students to have more abstract thinking and understanding, a math discussion group is useful for students when they study at home .If students have any question in doing their homework assignments after school, they can ask for help from the class discussion group. The teacher and the other students will answer the questions immediately. Students can learn from each other while they try to ask and response in the discussion group.  Students who ask questions can gain extract help from their classmates and teachers. Students who response to the questions can practice their problem solving skills.
Teachers can use Twitter to share some academic articles to students, especially those articles related to the mathematics content area. For most of times, students feel not motivated enough to study hard in mathematics because they probably think math is only used in the classroom setting. Therefore, teachers need to let students realize mathematics is useful and it happens around the world. As a result, teachers can post some current articles’ links or website on Twitter. Students can read those academic articles at anytime they want to. Moreover, if an article has a tremendous impact to students’ learning development, teacher can let students have a group discussion on Twitter in order to make sure every student reads the article.   
In addition, Twitter can be used as an assessment tool for teachers. Most of times, although students know how to solve a problem, they still have difficulties in illustrating the math concept behind that problem. Since students only can type 140 characters at a time on Twitter, teachers can ask students how they interpret a new math concept. For instance, if students learn a new math concept in class, they need to use their own words to interpret the new concept in a concise way. Therefore, students need to use limited words to illustrate their ideas and thoughts completely.
   No matter which media we are emphasizing, it has positive and negative approaches to adolescents’ development. Therefore, teachers and parents need to have a close conversation with adolescents, and to tell them to use various social media properly. As an educator, the most important and challenging instructional strategy is to appropriately incorporate social media in teaching in order to motivate adolescents to learn better in school.

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