As Ahn. and colleagues (2011) say policy is one of the factors that affect technology integration in school practices. Even though we consider social media as a resource for student learning most of the time, it can also be beneficial for teachers. For example, Greenhow et al. (2019) say, social media provides various opportunities for professional development and community building among teachers. Because of this, policies should focus on how social media can be incorporated into the professional development of teachers. In this way, this potential of social media can have a legal basis to increase the existing potential and to identify some regulations for using social media with a legitimized framework.
Schools should also enable flexible social media use in teaching and learning process by developing some school policies (Greenhow et al., 2019). Policymakers should concentrate on how to effectively integrate digital technologies in education, instead of restricting technology use because of potential risks. Social media use might be questioned by some stakeholders due to making differentiation between formal and informal learning and in and out-of-school behaviors invisible (Ahn et al., 2011). Thus, policies should be developed to make clear what to expect from using social media inside and outside of schools for student learning.
No matter how carefully policies are developed, social media companies are the ones that direct users to be involved in social media in particular ways, and some of the potential dangers of social media can be eliminated by these companies (Krutka et al., 2020). Therefore, policymakers should negotiate with these companies with research findings and public opinions about how to make social media a safer and beneficial place for all users, especially for students. In my opinion, the most important point in the policy development process is that policy makers should ask opinions and concerns of students, parents, teachers, and administrators to address the needs and expectations of all stakeholders about using digital technologies in learning and teaching.
Thank you for your post. I was just reading an Opinion article in The New York Times “What’s One of the Most Dangerous Toys for Kids? The Internet” which asserted: “while kids are experiencing this kind of dopamine rush, tech companies — in a drive to maximize engagement and, thus, profits — are collecting their data without their overt consent while also exposing them to adult content and corrosive peer judgment.” This article makes the point that our Internet privacy laws corresponding policies are outdated. Like you, I agree that multiple stakeholders should be solicited to help design and get better policies implemented. In fact pending legislation: https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/children_and_teens_online_privacy_protection_act.pdf seeks to update the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (yes, it’s over 13 years old) by, according to the NYT, “banning targeted advertising aimed at children and raising the age of internet users whose data cannot be collected without their consent from 12 to 15, among other measures.” What do you think about this proposal? Thanks for your post!
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