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ERIC Number: EJ868939
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Powering Students Up
Taranto, Greg; Abbondanza, Mark
Principal Leadership, v10 n4 p38-42 Dec 2009
Students, sometimes at very young ages, and increasing numbers of teachers are taking part in some form of social networking or collective collaboration by using mass communication technology. Club Penguin, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few examples that span a wide range of ages. This is no surprise, given that the current crop of students and those teachers are "digital natives"--individuals who grow up with mouse in hand. Despite the popularity of social networking, schools have been reluctant to embrace the technology because of concerns of misuse. It is not uncommon to hear about incidents of students and adults misusing mass communications tools; therefore, many schools have banned all forms of social networking in schools. But banning social networking or even denying its popularity is not only inappropriate but also borderline irresponsible when it comes to providing the best educational experiences for students. Social networking and all forms of mass communication are here to stay and the means to participate in the growing technological community will continue to change. Therefore, schools must embrace and provide opportunities for teachers to utilize social networking in a responsible and structured manner to support academics. Because mass communication has such tremendous possibilities to motivate and tap intellect, schools must provide the avenues for students to take part. Academic social networking is the answer. It combines aspects of social networking with an academic focus as the teacher guides students in a virtual constructive learning environment. By incorporating academic social networking opportunities into lessons, schools can take the first steps in incorporating digital citizenship--"the framework for understanding appropriate technology use"--into school as it relates to mass communication technology. Schools can benefit from two important aspects of academic social networking: (1) it is a medium to deliver content in an attractive and conducive manner; and (2) it gives schools an opportunity to model the appropriate use of social networking tools. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania