Just yesterday, I heard from a friend (that I used to work with) that his company is banning access to certain sites – Twitter, IM, things like that. The theory, of course, is that people spend too much time ‘playing around’ on social media and that equals a loss in productivity.
But now, just this morning, I’m reading this article about how banning social media can actually cause damage. There is one section that is about the effects of banning social media can have on students, which I thought would be of particular interest to this group on AO.
Sure, schools might think it’s in their best interest to block certain access. But! Naturally, kids are going to find a way to do what kids want to do. Ban a certain blog – they’re going to find a way (on their computer, phone or iPad) to access that blog. You banning the blog will only make them want to see it more.
More importantly, not allowing social media in the classroom means you can’t educate students on the proper way to use it. Kids who aren’t exposed to social media won’t know how to handle the negative side of it – and that’s an important lesson to learn.
Besides, there are plenty of examples of how schools are using Skype, Twitter and cell phones to enhance the learning experience – and isn’t that what it’s really all about?