Move with the times of the online generation

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Guest column by Maaike Vooren from M&ME Events

Whether you like it or not. You can no longer ignore it. Online content and social media. They are now part of our daily life. Especially in that of young people. Putting your phone aside for five minutes is no longer an option! Imagine missing something! This is to the chagrin of many teachers. Everyone has access to a mobile phone or tablet these days. That starts in primary school.

When I was in high school not too long ago, we're talking about halfway through the zeros, the mobile phone was already on the rise. In my class, about 90 percent of the students had a cell phone. The possibilities were not yet as advanced as they are now, but they were already being used a lot. Now I can't even imagine what those days were like. A time without having the internet at hand on your phone. I can imagine that it is difficult for teachers who stand in front of a class with teenagers and try to keep the students' attention on the lesson instead of on the phone. But is it really so wrong to use your phone during class?

I myself belong to a generation that has grown along with these developments. Today's children and young people know no better than to have everything at hand on that small screen. If they don't know something, they look it up. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of resistance in education to its use in 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 option to make the lessons more fun and interactive. For example, many schools now have a digital whiteboard. Social media still has a negative undertone for many teachers, while the possibilities offered by, for example, 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 interact 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 myself studied Media & Entertainment Management. The word media is in there, of course, but really use it? That happened minimally. It is nevertheless special that in a media-related training its use is kept to a minimum. Sometimes a YouTube video was shown and a PowerPoint was used, but those possibilities were already there ten years ago.

Nowadays you no longer only acquire knowledge in school or in the library. Most of the knowledge is online. Of course you have to pay attention to what is real and what is fake. But wouldn't it be better to learn now that not everything you find online is real? Have students find out which messages that have been spread are real and which are made up, a so-called hoax.

It is not just about online tools and social media that can be used in lessons. What about the audio and visual possibilities. Every teacher is now able to make his own videos. Why is this possibility not used to explain certain actions or topics in a video? Place this in the created Facebook group or on the website of the school, for example. This gives young people the opportunity to see the explanation again and to record it at their own pace and then get to work with 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.

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