6 Pros & Cons Of Social Media In The Classroom

6 Pros & Cons Of Social Media In The Classroom

6 Pros & Cons Of Social Media In The Classroom
6 Pros & Cons Of Social Media In The Classroom

Social media is such a prevalent part of modern society, especially for kids and teens.  In most schools phones and mobile devices have been banned from being used during the school day and social media websites like Twitter and Facebook have been blocked on school computers.  Schools are beginning to take a different approach by introducing social media into the educational system itself.  Here are some pros and cons of social media in the classroom and how it is being used for educational purposes.

The Rise of Social Media

While social media pervades society today, it wasn’t always the case. For a lot of us, when we think back to our days in high school if we wanted to talk to our friends we called them, went to the movies, and had face-to-face study groups. That was our way of forming relationships with our peers. Then social media came. I remember the first time I had to deal with it from the seat of a teacher. Facebook was on the rise, and I helped break up a fight among a group of young ladies in the hallway. When we finally were done figuring out how the fight had started, it went back to comments someone had posted on Facebook.

Looking at Social Media in Classrooms Objectively

Social media can be a tricky issue for educators wanting to bring it into their classrooms. While there are cons to consider, such as student safety and appropriate use. The horror stories of children on social media are usually at the forefront of teachers who shy away from using social media with students. However, it can be a powerful tool for students. As you approach social media in the classroom, be sure to remember you have to train students how to use it and be safe. Once you do that, there are unlimited ways you can use it to connect your students across your class periods and perhaps even across the globe.

6 Pros & Cons Of Social Media In The Classroom

Social media in the classroom isn’t necessarily good or bad; it depends on how it’s used. Mashable reports that, Portland-based teacher Elizabeth Delmatoff launched a social media pilot program in her seventh-grade classroom. Thanks to her carefully crafted lesson plans and selective media choices, Delmatoff’s students’ grades and attendance improved dramatically, and one-fifth of students began completing extra assignments for no credit at all. Here are four reasons to consider following her lead in your own classroom.


1. Encourage More Participation

Students who do not participate regularly in class may feel they can express their thoughts through social media.   Although this should not completely replace in-class participation it can help build the students’ confidence and encourage them to find their voice and be able to participate in class.

2. Engaged students are more successful

Delmatoff told Mashable that at one point, students were nervous their blogging assignments might get them into trouble–because they were so fun! Social media allows students to flex their creative juices and interact with their peers in a way that just cannot be replicated in the classroom. By engaging students in this way, learning outcomes can improve if the learning objectives align with the social media platform’s features and ‘climate.’

3. It’s the ‘real world

Part of the reason social media can teach these important life lessons is that it’s ‘real’ to many students. It’s credible and authentic and functions in a way familiar to them and their experiences online researching ideas, messaging with friends–and yes, wasting time.


1. The Internet is a new medium for bullying

There is little denying that social media makes it easier for students to bully or abuse their peers — or even their teachers. The Cyberbullying Research Center reports that in 2010, 20 percent of students reported being the victims of cyberbullying, and just as many admitted to being cyberbullies.

The group notes other studies place these estimates as high as 40 percent. Fortunately, the center also offers resources for teachers who want to prevent online bullying among their students, including lists of warning signs, teaching materials for lessons in Internet safety, and even scripts for parents and teachers who want to approach the subject with their students.

2. Cyberbullying On Social Media Websites

Some students have experienced cyberbullying through social media websites.  If social media is allowed in schools this could increase cyberbullying where students write hurtful messages targeting other students.

3. The Internet is a dangerous place

Yes, the Internet is chock full of inappropriate images and language, viruses, and scams. Thankfully, notes Mashable, the Children’s Internet Protection Act helps protect students from many of these dangers by blocking social media sites like Facebook and MySpace in public schools. Tools that help teachers block unwanted content in the classroom are available.

Pros and Cons of Social Media Usage for Students

Schools use social media

There are many pros and cons of using social media in the classroom. There are some websites that address the negative issues of social media but still allow social media to be used for educational purposes.

This site called https://gaggle.net allows teachers to communicate with students, post assignments on a secure site that can only be accessed by their class, and facilitates class discussions.  It is set up with filters to prevent students from posting profanity or pornography.  This is a solution that allows schools to embrace the positive aspects social media has to offer education and at the same time helps prevent the negative aspects from being an issue.

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