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Assignment #2- Internet Integration Research Kristen Rogers Social networking sites have become extremely popular among

the young and old. Alongside other so-called web 2.0 applications such as Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter, the most prominent form of this mass socialized internet use is students widespread engagement with services such as Facebook and MySpace. These social networking sites allow vast communities of internet users to maintain profiles of personal information and interact with each other in a variety of ways (Selwyn 2010). Should teachers use social networking in the classroom? This is a lingering question that many teachers have begun toying with. Traditional classroom structure and teaching strategies are challenged by the learning needs of these students [of the net generation] who process information differently (Williams & Chinn, 2009). Incorporating new technology into the classroom can and will be a challenge for educators. Regardless of the challenges and obstacles faced, using Web 2.0 tools to support the learning environment is essential. Students will become more actively engaged using such web tools at all grade levels. There are many ways social networking can be incorporated into the classroom. Teachers are using Twitter as a literacy tool, a kindergarten teacher is tweeting about class projects in order to keep parents informed throughout the day and connected, a fourth grade teacher has his students complete assignments and then take out a sheet of paper and summarize what they did and learned in less than 140 characters. This fourth grade teacher then has the students go online and type in the handwritten message on their Twitter account. This is another way to keep parents informed of what their child is doing during the day and learning about. Teachers can use Facebook in the same way so many are using Twitter. It is very important to monitor what one is putting online, but if it is used in the right way (and ethical way) this can be a very successful use of this popular social network. Teachers can post homework assignments, tutorials, other videos, and reminders on Facebook. School systems could also take advantage of this tool by posting important messages for students, parents, faculty, and staff. No matter how many positives one can find about something new and on the rise, there will always be a couple of downfalls. Ethics, privacy, and unsuitable content are all major concerns when using social networks. Lets just hope the fear factor doesnt keep them from new ways of teaching and learning in the classroom that may use these very Web 2.0 technologies, whatever that classroom may be in the future (Kist 2008). The downfalls that I personally see as being the biggest risk if all after the proper precautions are taken is the one that Ben-Ari points out, Be warned, however: once you try Twitter, it may prove habit-forming. I believe the impact social networking can have on education is limitless. Everything in life must be done in moderation; social networking is no different. When a teacher finds something that students love, the teacher must research all of the uses and then run with it within all ethical domains. Teachers have to keep privacy and protection as the forerunner for all activities and web based tools. Using social networking will evolve more and more over the next few years as more teachers begin to learn how to use this tool to benefit students. Can you imagine not having to turn on the television to find out if last nights snow storm closed roads and canceled school?

Instead, children turn off the alarm clock on their Blackberry, check Facebook or Twitter updates, and find that school is canceled for the day (oh, and they see their teachers updated reminder to do homework that was forgotten about last night!).

Sources: Ben-Ari, E. (2009). Twitter: What's All the Chirping About. Bioscience, 59(7), 632. Retrieved from aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=43552463&site=ehost-live Cohen, A. (2010). Social Networking and Open Government. Futurist, 44(4), 8-9. Retrieved from login.aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=51010417&site=ehost-live Docksai, R. (2010). Networked Learning. Futurist, 44(1), 12. Retrieved from h&AN=45468451&site=ehost-live Dunlap, J., & Lowenthal, P. (2009). Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 129-135. Retrieved from login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=42008992&site=ehost-live

Kist, W. (2008). "I Gave Up My Space for Lent": New Teachers and Social Networking Sites. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(3), 245-247. doi: 10.1598. Pence, H. (2009). Teaching in the 21st Century. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(2), 103-110. doi:10.2190/ET.38.2.c. Selwyn, N. (2010). Online social networking on campus: understanding what matters in student culture. Evaluation & Research in Education, 23(1), 70-72. doi:10.1080/09500790903533356.
Williams, J., & Chinn, S. (2009). Using Web 2.0 to Support the Active Learning Experience. Journal of

Information Systems Education, 20(2), 165-174. Retrieved from true&db=bth&AN=42008996&site=ehost-live