When I ask any large group of students about their online and social media usage, this is what I tend to find (no surprises here):
- Email: 100%
- Facebook: almost 100%
- MySpace: approx 50% (and declining)
- Blog owners: <2%
Yet when I asked some groups to write to Wolfstar in response to this vacancy (as a classroom exercise), only a few individuals picked up on the need to mention social media. The fault must be mine: ‘you haven’t taught us about this’. Whereas I want ‘digital natives’ to show what they know, and not wait for a ‘digital immigrant’ to tell them*.
E.M. Forster’s phrase is becoming my educational mantra: only connect.
(* The immigrant/native disconnect can be embarrassing. When I was enthusing about my new-found ability to update my Facebook status from a 3 Skype phone to a student, she almost went purple trying to suppress giggles at my expense. ‘But I can do that from my phone, too.’ Duh!)