I have been acknowledging the existence of social networking for some time in my Year 6/Grade 5 classroom. I teach students how to share their work, get feedback and initiate movements on Facebook. I teach students how to follow key people, use hashtags and access and share relevant information using Twitter. I model the use of Skype to access the perspectives and wisdom of people in other locations.
This is really starting to pay off.
My students are now independently using social networking as a way of extending their work. The example above is from a homework task on our blog yesterday. The students are currently working out and refining their “spark” upon which they will take some kind of action for their PYP Exhibition. Using social networking, they shared ideas and got different perspectives on their spark. The more they do this kind of thing, the more they see the actual power of such tools and… perhaps, like most tools, they will learn to put it away when it is not serving a purpose.