Social Media is here to stay. Some schools try to fight it and some people don't want to admit it, but it's just the reality. So instead of fighting a loosing battle, why don't schools teach students how to appropriately use social media? Employers everywhere are hiring "social media specialists" and "proficiency in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest" is now a common listing on job descriptions which means that the schools that teach their students how to use social media appropriately and well are actually providing useful job training for the future.
In an article posted by Kristen Hicks of edCetera, Hicks discusses 3 Methods schools can use to strengthen students' social media skills. The first method is to make social media group participation part of assignments. This can be done in a Facebook group that's specifically created for a particular assignment or class or even through LinkedIn where students can create an account and actively participate in groups created for people who are a part of or who are interested in a certain profession. This allows students the opportunity to make connections with professionals very early on which could lead to future job possibilities.
The second method Hicks suggests is to treat websites like Twitter as a resource. I know for a former English teacher like myself, the initial thought of this causes me to cringe just a little...Twitter as a resource? It's almost like suggesting students use Wikipedia. However, Hicks goes on to remind us that there are lots of notable, important, experienced people on social media platforms who can provide valuable insight into a "day in the life" of different career paths. Even the President is on social media!
Finally, Hicks tells us to provide students with the tools they need to use social media by providing tutorials on how to use websites like HootSuite, Tweetdeck, and other post-scheduling websites. This will absolutely give them valuable experience for the real world while also demonstrating maturity in social media usage.
For more information, check out the full article, 3 Methods to Strengthen Students' Social Media Skills by Kristen Hicks of edCetera.