There is no doubt that students are always on. Technology has taught students to constantly multi-task and it has unfortunately trained students to expect results quickly and on command. In addition, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks have conditioned students to believe that they are the center of the universe and all attention should be given to them immediately. Even the name, Instagram, implies you instantly will be able to be post your latest highlight or event for all to see and adore. Facebook trains you to look for how many likes you get on a post or picture, so you become wired to look to others for approval. Students will bring their social lives into the classroom and their social lives have become more global, scrutinized, and interactive. The impact on education is the drama and personal gratification of their social life is overpowering some students' motivation and focus for school. It is important that we channel their excitement for technology into projects and assignments that allow them to get positive feedback and constructive criticism to help them grow academically and emotionally.
I love the idea of incorporating social networking into the classroom. Students will excel with concepts that they understand and enjoy and social networking fits both of those categories. My experience with technology and social networking is I became more experienced with these items after high school, so I feel like I am in the middle of classical educational practices and progressive technological strategies like social networking. Because I have experienced both I feel like I can learn either way, but I think my high school students would benefit greatly with more technological devices utilized in school. As an educator I have attended workshops and meetings focusing on understanding the cultures of our students so we can find more success in relating to students while enabling us to use teaching strategies and styles that engage students with the curriculum. Because of my own beliefs and my experience of working with teenagers, it does not surprise me at all that research is showing that students believe that social networking, like Facebook, is an interesting and productive tool for education.