The debates about schools and social media are a subject of great public and policy interests. In reality, the debate has been shaped by one key fact: the almost universal decision by school administrators to block social media. Because social media is such a big part of many students social lives, cultural identities, and informal learning networks schools actually find themselves grappling with social media everyday but often from a defensive posture—reacting to student disputes that play out over social media or policing rather than engaging student’s social media behaviors.
Editor’s Note: This evening Howard will deliver the 2011 Regents’ Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His topic: the transformative power of social media and peer learning. Here, in a continuing series, Howard reflects on his ongoing experiment in high-end, peer-to-peer, global learning via the internet and social networks.
The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching.