Thursday, February 18, 2010

Social Networking and Student Acheivement

The talk in the faculty lounge, beyond the local gossip, is bemoaning the amount of time students spend on social networking.

"People that spend time on Facebook need to get a life. Don't they have anything to do?" was a comment from a colleague.

I looked up from commenting on my grand daughter's first A in chemistry, my excited niece's announcement of her and her husband's fourth pregnancy (she hasn't figured out yet what causes this), my 82 year old mom's hammering out "I''m k..ok and wennt to chruch today" on her Wall, and my sister-in-law's ranting about her latest, and, thank heavens, successful but eventful operation.

Guess I don't.

We have all heard that "students today...." In the late 18000's and early 1900's the dredge of the education world was the dime novels, (the following is cut and pasted from Wipipedia which they in turn had cut and pasted from another source): In the modern age, "dime novel" has become a term to describe any quickly written, lurid potboiler and as such is generally used as a pejorative to describe a sensationalized yet superficial piece of written work.

Educators then were bemoaning that kids were wasting their time non-stop reading these sensational books, rather than reading the classics like Shakespeare (OMG).

Studies are starting to show some interesting results. One of which that just came out that the amount of time a student spends on Facebook doesn't predict anything about their academic behavior.

So, are we just bemoaning the latest type of (in our eyes) time waster and not realizing that students have other things in their lives outside of school? And, maybe for every generation they have amusements they have all identified that keeps them reading and writing.

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