Friday, August 7th, 2009 | internet
Without hesitation some adults will say, “No”. Perhaps they are concerned about the potential dangers to young people when they roam around on the internet, leaving them exposed to predators.
While caution is required, one should not be too quick to throw out the bathwater – there may be a baby in the bath. Of course, it would be irresponsible to encourage learners to become part of a social network without giving them proper guidance. But some studies show that social networks – of which Facebook is only one example – can have educational spin-offs.
Among the educational gains are the following:
When young people go online on a regular basis, they acquire valuable technical skills.
A social network helps a learner to develop communication skills.
Creativity is encouraged – just think about the way in which they will be presenting their own world to others by means of pictures, and vying with their friends to create interesting things to publish.
One researcher said:
“What we found was that students using social networking sites are actually practicing the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop to be successful today.”
As part of their life long learning teachers may want to join a social network and get a first-hand feel for what it offers. Just imagine what it could do for their 21st century skills!