CHANGEd 60-60-60: SOCIAL SPACES
Thinking about What if we ridiculously relegate playgrounds to “outside of school?” 60-60-60 #35 and reflecting…
What “playgrounds” are we outlawing in many schools when we allow for legal considerations to trump educational ones?
The PEW Research Center’s November 2011 report on Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites is worth reading. It’s also worth sharing with parents, teachers, and administrators as it is essential that we engage in conversations about social media and its role in schools. According to the report,
Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.
Is there another activity that engages 80% or more of our students that schools actively disengage? If social networks are places where teen life — and that means learning too — is echoed and amplified, then why aren’t we leveraging these social spaces? These spaces are their playgrounds. And oftentimes the playgrounds are where innovation flourishes.