Does social media belong in the classroom?

Interesting question, of rising relevance: should teachers incorporate social media (twitter, facebook, blogs, etc) in their classroom expectations? In preparation for the workshop in Weimar, one of the participants asked this question. I did a bit of checking, and the jury seems divided. On the one hand, the next generation of students are swimming in social media – something like 96% of college students around the world are on facebook. Twitter or chats can be ways to get students who otherwise don’t speak out in class to contribute to a discussion. On the other hand, teachers need to use methods that they feel comfortable with and that are appropriate for the material. There’s evidence that use of social media changes the way we think, changes our attention spans. The ability to follow a longer line of argumentation is part of the intellectual endeavor, and that’s not usually part of the soundbite-oriented social media communication style.
What’s your experience?

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