Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who Knew Social Media had Academic Benefits?

Blog #2 for Module 5: Analytical Response to the Reading, "Old Communication, New Literacies: Social Network Sites as Social Learning Resources" 

by Christine Greenhow and Beth Robelia

"In this paper, we argue that adult-driven discourses ought to consider not just academic literacies, but also young people's 'nonacademic' communicative literacies typically practiced outside of school as part of their overall development of new literacies." 

- Christine Greenhow and Beth Robelia

     This essay by Christine Greenhow and Beth Robelia emphasizes the utter importance of shifting the way we educate so that it corresponds with the way students learn in the new, technological awakening. I could not agree more with the valuable points both women made within their writing. The entirety of this essay was based on a study that examined the role of a social network site in eleven students' lives from low-income families. In addition to this, several times, both Greenhow and Robelia supported their ideas with data from the study as well as from scholars who similarly evaluated the role of social media as a new literacy in the classroom setting. Because their argument to conform the way we educate to the digital world was so credible and factually supported, it made their piece all the more convincing. 

     In the section titled, "New Literacies and Social Networking Sites", the authors referenced scholarly articles that also discussed similar ideas about transforming the way we educate. I particularly liked how Buckingham (2007) argued how new media has become a "significant dimension" of the majority of the youth and, with that, the relationship formed between student and technology is no longer school based. In essence, Buckingham is describing how the use of technology, for instance, the computer, is not primarily or only used within a school setting. These relationships are now more culturally dominated as a result of social networking sites. So, it is vital for educators to implement new media not as "curriculum delivery devices" but as tools to critically and creatively represent the world, communicate, and understand social and cultural processes (Greenhow and Robelia). 

     Technology is the future. Thus, it is critical that it is engaged and introduced even further within the education system, in ways that help learners shape their social relationships and practices.

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