Page 36 - Campus Technology, May/June 2018
P. 36

TEACHING & LEARNING ruth reynard The Intrusion of Social Media in Learning
Social media has evolved into a tool for creating and promoting the “self,” resulting in a tension between encouraging individual expression and overemphasizing the self in a collaborative setting.
SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BEEN AROUND long enough that we have gone through a huge learning curve regarding its functionality and potential — and now we are experiencing the results of its uses in various social, professional and educational contexts. For some years, educators have swayed between excluding and including social media in learning environments and classrooms, searching for a balance between its immediate “connecting” impact and the applied uses in collaborative exchanges in learning. It seems the dominant use of social media has been as a tool for personal exchange, focusing on an individual’s authenticity of voice and production; users enjoy the overall control of what is said, displayed, communicated, imaged about “self.”
Yet, the obsessive focus on self has had repercussions. While social media technology is accessible and user-friendly, as well as highly intuitive overall, the implications for the positioning of “self” in digital social exchanges were, in my opinion, unanticipated. Certainly, the impact on educational exchanges in classrooms or online has been intense. Educators, teaching students of various ages, agree that the positioning of “self” has evolved, impacting many organized group
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