“Old Communication, New Literacies: Social Network Sites as Social Learning Resources”

Old Communication, New Literacies: Social Network Sites as Social Learning Resources, written by Christine Greenhow and Beth Robelia discusses the revolution of communication and social media as well as the importance they have on education. Greenhow and Robelia are two writers who engulf the truth to how students want to learn, and this new reality includes one not just of standard print books and lectures, but inclusive to social media: the constantly updating and active truth of our world, holding, truth, lies, and everything in between. I sit in the library of SCSU writing this, only to find every single individual with a phone or computer at hand, using social media in between study sessions. Greenhow and Robelia question that if we take the same learning concepts and reform them to include social media, how much would students benefit, and they argue that the benefits are increasingly great. There article states, “If as educators, researchers, and citizens, we want all students to be fully literate and able to communicate to be successful in a global community, we ought to attend especially to those students from low-income families who may be more likely to experience lower levels of online participation at home or at school, compared to their more affluent peers, and therefore, have fewer opportunities to practice new literacies. Looking at these teens’ use of social network sites through the lens of new literacy theories raises interesting questions, such as: What are the unwritten rules, expectations, or strategies for self-presentation and network production, maintenance and development? What role do different modes (e.g., language, images, music, etc.) and other forms of communication play in the development of the social network? How do the practices participants demonstrate fit with or depart from school practices?” This exert analyzes and concludes the opporunities for learning possible if we open up education to social media. If we can use social media almost as if its own large journal composed of millions of perspectives from all over the world, we can open our learning to the views and opinions of others as well as presenting our own views and opinions to others to enhance the knowledge and culture of social media. As Greenhow and Robelia state, if we want to be a globally-aware society, we must conclude to the most globally-diverse place consulting to the opinions of cultures everywhere: social media, as well as providing that ability in schools for all students to experience.

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