I think the study that was analyzed in the article focused more on the relative perceptions of the students rather than a picture of the effectiveness of social media in education.  I think the study reasonably supported the notions that social media has benefit in the development of engagement in students.  There is also undeniable evidence that social media is becoming ever more integrated into our children's development.  Whether or not this engagement translates into greater student success at achieving the objective learning outcomes is less clear. 

I think that with every new technology introduced in society something is lost and something is gained.  For instance, with the advent of writing, oral traditions become less necessary for cultural transmission.  This allows a much greater catlogue of permanent information, but it also has the effect of diminishing the richness of oral storytelling.  I worry about the implications of blogging, texting, and other new methods of communication in terms of vocabulary and language development.  I've been a tutor of English in the study center at my junior college, and I have found that large numbers of students to be distracted by technology.  For instance, many students use technology as a substitute for actual engagement with material.  Instead of reading, they can scavenge assignments off the web or just get answers from friends in class.  This is not a new problem, but it has been exacerbated by the abundance of resources on the net.  When brainstorming for ideas with students, I sometimes notice an unwillingness to sit and read, as they would rather be told an answer than come up with one on their own.  With an i phone in one hand, a laptop in the other, today's students are a touch away from any distraction possible.  I remember going on many road trips as I grew up, with nothing but windows and books to occupy me.  I remember doing alot of deep thinking during these times on the road.  Some of my best thinking occurs when I'm detached from the humming screens and wires of modern technology.  Sometimes our minds respond better to a deprivation of resources rather than a surplus.  I still think social media can be enriching in many ways.  I simply think that people need time for quiet rumination, time to contemplate their navel without the beep of a new text or e-mail. 
 





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    Brandon Ellis
    -Adaptive PE\I.A.
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