One of the most important jobs of teacher is to get to know his/her students. You can’t just know their names. You need to know their interests, their dreams, and what makes them “tick.” Teachers must know and understand their students in order to truly invest in their lives, inspire their futures, and help shape their character.
In FRONTLINE’s video “Generation Like,” it was said that “Young people want attention; they want validation. And that’s actually not new, it’s just that now the possible stage on which you can operate on is much bigger.” Children are still children, but they’re just searching for their attention in different ways than they did years ago. It’s important for teachers to understand how children are using social media so that we can relate to them and reach them. Teachers need to be able to give children the positive attention they need. Children are searching for attention on social media through followers and likes. Does this mean that teachers should go “like” all of his/her students’ pictures on Instagram? No. But it does mean that teachers could incorporate social media into educational lessons so that students can get the virtual attention and feedback they crave. Teachers can incorporate the use of blogs (like this one), Twitter, or YouTube easily into curriculum. It would also allow for “teaching moments” about Internet safety and professionalism on social media. Therefore, it’s very important for teachers to know what social media is out there, how to use it, and it’s importance.
One big problem with education is that the content has not been made relevant to the students. Pretty much everything is out there on social media. When a teacher understands how children are using social media, he/she can relate the content of the curriculum to social media and daily life. Children are more motivated to learn when they know the content is useful to their lives. Then, if the assignments include a form of technology and social media, the children will be even more engaged because it includes doing something they’re already interested in.
Social media isn’t going anywhere. I realized after watching “Generation Like” that I have a lot more to learn about social media and the way children are using it than I thought. Although I’m just a young adult and grew up with some social media, children now are using it different that I do. In a few years, children will be using it differently than the children today are. I need to stay current with social medias’ uses so that I can be as relevant as possible with my students. I need to stay relevant so that I can make the biggest impact on their lives as possible.