Frontlines “Generation Like” is a very interesting video and was truly eye opening for me. I consider myself very tech-savvy and I use all sorts of social media. However, I was completely unaware of the immense amount of time and thought that teens are putting in to establishing their online profiles. I use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but only to connect with people I actually know or have met in real life. I am wary about what I put on the Internet, because it is truly accessible by anybody around the world. It seems that teens these days were never told to be cautious of what they post, and instead do the opposite. They are now documenting every single part of their lives, whether it is through pictures, videos, or tweets.
Students are being introduced to new technology and social media at such a young age these days that it has become a new way of life. There are so many new terms used by young people surrounding social media, such as hashtag, selfie, tweet, and vlog, just to name a few. These are words that grab young peoples attention and are a part of their daily language. Like the video said, we are apart of a digital revolution that is here to stay. Children and teens are putting themselves out there for the world to see, and are expecting validation and attention in return. The video pointed out that social media gives them a sense of empowerment; it gives them a voice. There are things that could be said face-to-face that might get made fun of, but on the Internet, there is always at least one person that relates to it.
It is important, that with all this new technology, for educators to try and understand this revolution and use it to their advantage. There are many ways to incorporate the new lingo into the classroom in a way that will enhance learning. Things like “hashtags” are relevant to their way of life, so using it in lessons and exercises can make it so students are engaged and interested to learn. #learningcanbefun. The video pointed out that social media is all about sharing and collaboration. Kids are helping kids succeed all around the world. This can be used in the classroom as well. Similar to what we are doing in this 554 Tech class with our blogs, children can be using similar tactics. By following and sharing our classmate’s posts, we’re helping to expand their network. There are definitely ways of incorporating similar methods into the classrooms of children and teens.
“Generation Like” really gave us an inside look of the minds of the current teens around the world. We may not know what the next big thing is going to be, but we can fully believe that social media is not going anywhere. If anything, it will only keep getting bigger. As educators it is important to understand what and whom our students are interacting with in order to provide them with the best possible education. If we refuse to change our ways, then we are doing nothing but hindering the success of a brilliant generation.
I encourage all of you to check out Generation Like here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/