Guest column by Maaike Vooren from M&ME Events
Whether you like it or not. Nowadays you can no longer ignore it. Online content and social media. They are now part of our daily lives. Especially in those of young people. Just putting your phone aside for five minutes is no longer there! Imagine missing something! To the great annoyance of many teachers. Nowadays, everyone has access to a mobile phone or tablet. That starts in primary school.
When I was in high school not so long ago, we are talking about midway through the zero's, the mobile phone was already on the rise. In my class, around 90 percent of the students had a mobile. The options were not as advanced as they are now, but they have already been used a lot. In the meantime, I can't even imagine what that time was like anymore. A time without having the internet at hand on your phone. I can imagine that it is difficult for teachers standing in front of a classroom with teenagers and trying to keep the students' attention focused on the lesson rather than on the phone. But is it actually so wrong to use your phone during class?
I myself am from a generation that has grown with those developments. The children and young people of today know no better than that they have everything at hand on that little screen. If they don't know something, they look it up. Yet there is still a lot of resistance in education to its use during class. Instead of adapting education to modern times and preparing children for the future, lessons are still mainly static and often boring for children. That while schools have every opportunity to make the lessons more fun and interactive. For example, many schools nowadays have a IWB. For many teachers, social media still has a negative undertone, while the possibilities are such Facebook offers are ideal for interactive assignments for school. make a Facebook group with your class and give them an assignment to post in the group. Have students respond to each other and discuss with each other. In this way you get interactive lessons and the students learn to use social media in a good way.
I studied Media & Entertainment Management myself. The word media is in there, but really use it? That happened minimally. It is nevertheless special that with media-related training, its use is limited to the minimum. Sometimes a YouTube video was shown and a PowerPoint was used, but those possibilities were already there ten years ago.
These days you no longer acquire knowledge alone in the school desks or in the library. The knowledge is often online. Of course you have to pay attention to what is real and what is fake. But isn't it better to learn now that not everything you find online is real? Have students figure out which messages that are distributed are real and which are made up, a so-called hoax.
It is not just about online tools and social media that are excellent for use in lessons. What about the audio and visual possibilities. Nowadays every teacher is able to make his own videos. Why is this option not used to explain certain actions or subjects in a video? Place this in the created facebook group or on for example the website of the school. With this you give young people the chance to see the explanation again and record it at their own pace and then start using it. The teacher receives the same questions less often and can therefore pay more attention to giving interactive lessons.
My advice to all schools at any level. Stop the resistance to (social) media! This fight cannot be won. Start using the digital and online world and prepare children, young people and students for the online world.