For as long as there has been social media, kids have been getting punished for its “misuse” (in the eyes of adults). Because of this perceived inappropriate behavior in social media, many schools have blocked Facebook, Twitter, and other frequently-used social media sites from their students. Smart phones are also commonly banned. It’s not unusual for teachers and school administrators to dole out punishment for students who don’t adhere to these social media restrictions. Consequently, we are holding kids responsible for something that, in most cases, we never taught them to use, but have only forbidden them to use. Where’s the adult responsibility here?
Yes, technology is distracting and some students are obsessed with their phones, but banning/hiding the devices aren’t the answer. We’re all trying to figure out where these mobile technologies fit into our lives, and, until we do, we’ll be fumbling around. Technology is coming to our classrooms, do we allow it now when we have time to figure out how best to use it, or do we wait until it’s forced on us?