Social media, video games, blogs and
wikis are playing increasingly important roles in classrooms across
the country. Some worry that incorporating more social media and
other technologies into education is leading to too much computer
time, as well as to a generation of students deficient in the
face-to-face social skills needed to survive in the workplace.
Proponents say schools need to find ways to use these technologies to
improve teaching and learning, or else risk losing the attention of
A paper released
earlier this week by the Brookings Institution addresses how social
media, blogs and video games are improving education by increasing
access to people and information in various forms, including Twitter
feeds, blog posts, videos and books. These tools are also increasing
people's ability to share information with networks and contribute
their own thoughts.
The idea is that the data collected by
video games and social media sites can be provided, sometimes in real
time, to teachers who can then use it to better understand their
students and tailor instruction to meet individual needs.
Companies like Knewton,
Junyo and the Learn Lab in Pittsburgh and are all creating such
systems that are being used by many schools across the nation.