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Although I did vote for the helping choice, I really prefer to choose a combination of helping and hurting.
On the one hand technology can help make connections with people we wouldn't normally meet. It also helps with networking by connecting with classmates and friends that people don't normally see.
On the other hand it can hurt. I do believe that face-to-face communication is a good skill to have. With everybody communicating with texts, type chatting, and phones face-to-face communication is going into a slight decline (in my eyes) and we also need to emphasize face to face communication with our students.
What i mean is that millons of people meet people online its an esay way to meet new people.
Just think on how many more people, people meet online i mean there are online dating sites and video games that you can play online can you imagine having terrable social skills and then have hundreds of friends on facebook or myspace.
Technology is helping students develop the social and communication skills of the future. Many educators speak of technology as a short-term thing - it's happening now. But think about it... 4 years ago we didn't have Facebook. Four years ago I was hearing the same statements about technology and in particular email and chatrooms. Teachers thought that this was the worst thing to happen to students. Only 4 years later, social media has turned the world around. Now we live in this world. Four year from now... who knows. Maybe the world will turn around 4 times. It's not about the technology and whether it harms or helps. It's about preparing students for what life will be when they graduate (four years time). So teachers should relax and take advantage of this powerful advancement we are witnessing.
In my experience technologies such as online course forums can allow introverted people to express themselves in a medium they prefer. In my experience with hybrid online classes (students meet with me in class and we have online discussion weeks), people who usually do not participate in face to face discussions do express their thoughts in writing in the online course forums. I do not see this as a negative thing, as they experience more chances to participate in a way they are more comfortable with I have seen some of these students blossom out to participate more in face to face discussions. Since students had both online discussions AND face to face class discussions, there were chances for both kinds of interaction.
I also believe my son as a young teen grew in his self confidence through his interaction in Social Networks and via text with his friends. I always hear people say that video games are anti - social also, but my son usually plays with a few friends as well as with friends who are at home via Internet connected Xbox games. The conversations I overhear indicate a lot of cooperative problem solving and brainstorming is happening in these games.
I work with middle school students and notice a decline in face to face communication skills which I attribute to the increase in technology usage. Social networking sites provide students with an opportunity to communicate without fear of seeing the hurt in someone's eyes, this said straight from the mouth of a middle school child. They also feel more "free" to type whatever they want to say, the boundary lines become blurred and empathy is lost. So many conflicts end up in the classroom because of what was "said" in a text message or posted on a wall.
I am all for increase in technology in the classrooms as long as we are continuing to teach our students/children about empathy and communicating on a deeper level. We also need to speak openly with our students about the proper ways to communicate via technology; to be proactive in teaching these "techno-skills" with the intent to prevent face to face conflicts.
SocialMaestro Helps Teachers Connect, Collaborate and Interact with students and parents.
I believe that social networking can be use to improve communication between teachers, parents and student. Trust me many teachers in the state of new jersey are using www.socialmaestro.com in their classroom to stay in touch with students and their parents when at home.
Definitely social networking technologies such as these can improve academic communication and social skills.
Technology in an of itself has no value. It is how we use it that places a value on whether it is efficacious as a tool for learning. Many teachers are still trying to apply traditional teaching methods in the classroom and therefore believe that technology is in control. However, I believe as educators we must teach students how to use these tools in collaborative environments, using 21st century instructional methods to meet the needs of a changing society
Kids will always find a way to network and socialize. I remember when I was a teenager, talking on the phone for hours was the what we did to stay in touch. Now kids are texting...what's the difference. Technology is allowing kids to expand their social circles and network with others they may have never had the opportunity to network with. So I would have to say that technology is helping kids improve certain social skills. Texting and phone communication will never replace face-to-face interactions nor should it ever. Skype and Google to mention are enabling these face-to-face interactions with video chatting. Parental guidance and supervision is always necessary to ensure that kids are using technology appropriately.
Technology may not be "going away" but it will be transformed just like everything else over time. We need to make sure it is transformed into something that will contribute more than detract from our educational goals. There is much to be said for "communication" but the methodology should not and is not the most important aspect to communication. There have to be "words on the page" and "ideas" to be communicated!!!!! Technology is a tool - not a social skill. Resistance is not always a negative!!