Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is Social Media Just About the Bandwagon?

The other day I responded to a discussion on Linked-In on the topic of social media – the questions was, should employees be allowed access to social media during work hours. Here is my comment:It depends on what they are using it for. The same could be said for using a phone or a copy machine or the internet - what are they using it for? Most employees, at one time or another, use these tools for personal reasons. If there is a problem, it is usually centered on that employee, not the availability of the tool.”   (It kills me that I ended two sentences with prepositions!!)
I do a great deal of my learning via social media.  I would likely not be able to do my job effectively without it.  So, I am of the mind that social media is a good thing.  But, as you might imagine, there are many who do not agree.  That’s okay. Not every situation calls for social media or even any technology at all – if you have been in one of my classes, you have heard me say that technology is not always the best tool to use for the job, it’s just one.   I say this to show you I think I have a practical view of where technology and social media fit.
I have actually been thinking quite a lot about this whole social media topic recently.  I am researching a new class I am doing this summer on digital portfolios/social resumes – NOT your mother’s eProtfolio – and the class is all about leveraging social media.  Several thoughts are banging around in my head, such as:
  • What do we think of social media?
  • Do employers take digital resumes seriously? (I have seen a lot of evidence that they do, but . . . )
  • What the heck is social media?
  • Do schools need a social media policy? (Most businesses have them . . . )
  • Many feel that educators should be developing curriculum, not pop culture, and that is all social media is. 
  • Why do we think the only use for social media is pop culture?
  • Is social media in schools too much of a distraction?
  • Can we help students learn to use these tools professionally - cuz they are all over them personally.
  • Can we ignore something that is so ubiquitous?
So, that’s what’s going on in my head right now.  I am trying to visit many sides of the topic. Invite me over!
Just thinkin’
Lee Anne