I remember being an undergrad in college and having two professors who had created Twitters accounts dedicated to our course, and another who used her own Twitter account to give updates on class related issues. I followed these accounts only because I was required to for class, or because it meant I would get to see the answer to at least one test question.
I’ve never been someone who enjoyed using social media platforms in the classroom. I’ve always felt that the barrier that was once there between the two was a good thing. When I go to my social media platforms I expect to see posts from friends or family who I have chosen to connect with, because I want to see what they have to say. I use these platforms in my personal time to either catch up with these people or simply as a mindless distraction after a long day, so when I’m lying on my couch at 10:30 having given up on work and school related responsibilities the last thing I want to see on Facebook or Twitter is a reminder that I have Test in two days and I imagine many of my students feel the same way.
I understand why many teachers have chosen to incorporate social media in their classrooms, and I absolutely see how it can be effective in reaching students. I know that students these days spend more time checking their Twitter accounts than their university e-mail, so that reminder about the test is more likely to reach them in through that medium, but at some point I think we have to accept that students deserve a place free from the often never-ending demands of school.
I take education seriously (I’ve been in school for the last 17 1/2 years of my life for goodness sake), and I spend hours upon hours each day working on education related responsibilities, whether that be my own coursework or preparing to teach my classes. Because I dedicate so much time to education related responsibilities, the last thing I want to see when I am on a personal platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is some school related post, so I am extremely hesitant to invade the personal lives of my students in this way. I want them to have time to relax. I don’t want them to feel like they should ALWAYS be thinking about their coursework. I want them to have a place to escape the ever present demands of school, and I think they want and deserve social media to be one of these escapes.