Should kids have access to social media in school? I challenge anyone to give a black and white answer. Because it isn’t clearcut. Kids do so much more on social media than what traditional media would have us believe. They support each other, they keep each other in the know and beyond that – on a level they may not even realize – they learn.

Big data. 

How many of us have kids that watch the likes, *hearts* and follows, grow on the most recent post or a selfie with pride? And then pivot accordingly if it just ain’t getting the response they were hoping for. Large corporations wrestle with understanding metrics and pinpointing what works in marketing yet kids do it as easily as breathing. They get it.

Google it.

Yes, there’s fake news. And understandably, we cringe at the thought of knowledge being dispensed through social media. My son’s Snap chat feed includes the news from the same sources his dad watches. It’s just on a different platform and with a cooler vibe. Who hasn’t watched live space feeds or gone deep below the ocean’s surface with Google? (if you haven’t, stop reading and check it out now googleearth.com)

 

We don’t know everything.

That’s where it hurts. Admitting that we can’t control their learning… ouch. It’s a big one. BUT if we get wise to the power of social media and tech, we can funnel it. If you direct it in classrooms adeptly then you’re in the running for the most engaging and cool teacher in the world. And if you don’t get it, like most people over the age of 30, ask a kid. Honestly. They’ll be proud.

Anyhow, it’s crazy.

Trying to shut down social media in schools is akin to putting a tarp over the city during a rain storm. It’s unmanageable, frustrating and can really suppress growth.

And if schools think that shutting down social media will prevent bullying… it’s like saying that guns shoot people. No, people shoot people. More social media means more access to trolls? Likely, but instead of sheltering them, let’s help them adapt. #letstalk

And if schools think that shutting down social media will prevent kids from being distracted… get interesting.