Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 38, September 7th, 2018

Today‟s students have not just changed incrementally from those of the past, nor simply changed their slang, clothes, body adornments, or styles, as has happened between generations previously. A really big discontinuity has taken place. What we see is that billions of people around the world grow up during the age of social media, and mankind is slowly marching toward a future where nearly everyone will be a digital native.

Photo: Pixabay

Digital Natives

Today‟s students have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, video games, digital music players, video cams, smartphones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today‟s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games computer games, email, the Internet, smartphones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives.

It is now clear that as a result of this ubiquitous environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, today‟s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. These differences go far further and deeper than most educators suspect or realize. It is very likely that our students’ brains have changed – and are different from ours – as a result of how they grew up. But whether or not this is literally true, we can say with certainty that their thinking patterns have changed.

What should we call these “new” students of today? Some refer to them as the N-[for Net]-gen or D-[for digital]-gen. But the most useful designation Marc Prensky has found for them is Digital Natives. Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet. [1]

Digital Immigrants

So what does that make the rest of us? Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have, at some later point in our lives, become fascinated by and adopted many or most aspects of the new technology are, and always will be compared to them, Digital Immigrants.

The importance of the distinction is this: As Digital Immigrants learn – like all immigrants, some better than others – to adapt to their environment, they always retain,  to some degree, their “accent,” that is, their foot in the past. The “digital immigrant accent” can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming that the program itself will teach us to use it. Today‟s older folk were “socialized” differently from their kids, and are now in the process of learning a new language. And a language learned later in life, scientists tell us, goes into a different part of the brain. [1]

No Smart Phones in French Schools

French children will have to leave their smartphones and smart devices at home or switched off when they are at school starting in September 2018. The ban on smartphones as well as other kinds of internet-connected devices, such as tablets, applies to schoolchildren between 3 and 15 years of age and was passed by lawmakers on Monday. French high schools, or lycées, with students 15 and older, will get to choose whether to adopt the phone ban for their pupils. The law fulfills one of President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promises. It passed 62 votes to one, supported by members of Macron’s centrist La République en Marche! party. Some lawmakers from the right and the left abstained, claiming the law would change little.[2]

That kind of discussion is active in many countries. Many schools have banned the Smartphone. Some countries discuss if they shall follow the French example.

The social media universe

One-third of humanity that now uses a smartphone, messaging and status updates are often more natural than having a live conversation. In a world where social interactions are peppered with emojis and funneled through a front-facing camera, the platforms we use become more than mere service providers; they are the connective tissue of our society. [3]

What services are people using?

Monthly active users (MAUs) is a metric commonly used to evaluate how many people are using a service regularly. Let’s take a closer look at these massive platforms (from The social media universe in 2018 [3] .

Facebook

On its own, Facebook is a behemoth, but adding in the other platforms run by Mark Zuckerberg paints a clear picture of who controls the social media in 2018.

During its growth spurt in the late aughts, Facebook emerged as the first truly global social networks, hitting one billion monthly active users and essentially popularizing the idea of social media. These days, Facebook appears to be hitting engagement and growth plateaus, but acquisitions such as Instagram and WhatsApp are fueling growth for the company, with the former accounting for over a third of revenue.

WeChat

In China, WeChat isn’t just a typical messenger app. This “super app” – which facilitates everything from point-of-sale purchases to accessing public services – is likely the template that other social platforms around the world will emulate as they strive for more thorough integration with their users’ lives.

Because WeChat is typically also used for work, the average user spends about an hour in-app each day. That is a level of engagement most platforms can only dream of.

Reddit

The “Front Page of the Internet” has grown up. The oft-controversial message board – created in 2005 – is now worth an estimated $1.8 billion, and is contemplating an IPO in the near future. While the company does make money from advertising, a unique membership feature called Reddit Gold is helping bring in funding directly from the community.

The illustration is from the World Economic Forum

Twitter

When people have something to say publicly or look to debate big issues in the news cycle, more often than not, they use Twitter. Tweets from world leaders and CEOs can have far-reaching consequences, and hashtagged social movements have united more people than ever to affect change. For better or worse, Twitter fills an important role in modern society.

Unfortunately for Twitter, a great responsibility has translated into greater scrutiny rather than strong revenue growth. The company has faced high profile controversies over harassment, bots, and fake news, and has struggled to match the sky-high growth expectations set when the “microblogging” platform went public in 2013. Twitter is still experimenting with new ways to monetize its 300+ million active user base.

Photo: Tracy Le Blanc

Snapchat

In 2015, Snapchat, having already thoroughly conquered the under-18 market, looked set to disrupt the social media landscape. What came next was a tragedy in two acts. First, Instagram released its Story feature that same year, effectively cloning Snapchat’s features and layout within their app. Many users, who had only recently begun using a novel new platform, flocked back to Instagram where they already had a developer following.

Secondly, a redesign of the Snapchat interface was widely criticized by high profile users, speeding up an exodus to Instagram. Snapchat, which has since gone public, still has a quarter of billion MAUs, but questions remain about whether the platform can recapture the magic of their earlier years.

Photo: WeVideo

Social media in Schools

Social media platform is converting the manner businesses are being conducted. Training sector now not being an exception has additionally been undoubtedly stricken by the usage of social media. Of past due to many universities and education carrier companies have reportedly accelerated the use of social media advertising to sell their publications and appeal to college students. Educators are becoming privy to the ability advantages of social media in schooling. Many schools had realized the reality that 75% of students are on social media for a median of 5 hours a day. Social media has made us toward human beings from one of the kind components of the sector. Social media has made available a platform in which people can talk and widen their expertise base. [4]

Photo: WeVideo

Starting from elementary school up until university graduation, social media has the role to empower parents, students and teachers to use new ways of sharing information and build a community. Statistics show that 96% of the students that have internet access are using at least one social network. What’s even more extraordinary is that, even though some of the students use the social networks for entertaining and other purposes, there are a lot of them that actually use it to promote a lot of positive and useful activities. From finding a summer internship, promoting success stories or collaborate on international projects, everything is made possible.[5]

When it comes to social media, schools tend to adopt different positions. It’s a general consensus that they’re useful when it comes to sharing information or organizing the school tasks. And at the same time, the social networking is blamed for the lack of attention in students during classes.

But an increasing trend of adopting social media in school is starting to show. And since students already devote a lot of time to social media and connecting with others outside school hours, why not do it during school as well?

Starting from elementary school up until university graduation, social media has the role to empower parents, students and teachers to use new ways of sharing information and build a community. Statistics show that 96% of the students that have internet access are using at least one social network. What’s even more extraordinary is that, even though some of the students use the social networks for entertaining and other purposes, there are a lot of them that actually use it to promote a lot of positive and useful activities. From finding a summer internship, promoting success stories or collaborate on international projects, everything is made possible.[5]

When it comes to social media, schools tend to adopt different positions. It’s a general consensus that they’re useful when it comes to sharing information or organizing the school tasks. And at the same time, the social networking is blamed for the lack of attention in students during classes.

But an increasing trend of adopting social media in school is starting to show. And since students already devote a lot of time to social media and connecting with others outside school hours, why not do it during school as well?

Photo: rawpixel.com

Today the Digital Immigrants decide in the Schools

Each school year the following question will have to be answered: What if a student or staff member is using their personal social media account off school property in a negative, inappropriate, or confrontational manner that has an impact on the staff or students? Additionally, does this usage impact the student’s ability to learn at school or impact the educational day? If it does, then the school should have the right to investigate and issue appropriate consequences. This is an important problem that has impacted schools from all over the world. It is vital that our schools address this problem in their student code or face the possibility of students, staff members, or both disrupting the school.

The majority of teachers and policymakers in the schools are digital immigrants while the pupils and students are digital natives. In the digital world, the immigrants make the decisions that influence the natives.

 

 

 

References

[1] Marc Prensky: Digital Natives Digital Immigrants (On the Horizon – MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001)

[2] CNN, July 31, 2018

[3] Nick Routley “The social media universe in 2018” World Economic Forum (28 Aug 2018)

[4] Rahul Kushwaha and Sushma Gandhi “SOCIAL MEDIA BOOSTS THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION AND RELATION BETWEEN TEACHER & STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS” PARIPEX – INDIAN JOURNAL OF RESEARCH, Volume-6, Issue-12 (December-2017)

[5] Lori Wade “How Social Media is Reshaping Today’s Education System” Center for Social Impact Communication, Georgetown University

 

 

 

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The photo on top: WeVideo

 

Category:  World

Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 37, August 17th, 2018
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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

The Lucubrate Magazine highlights education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.

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