Why schools must teach social networking

José Picardo

José Picardo is Assistant Principal in charge of Digital Strategy at Surbiton High School. He has taught languages for over ten years and regularly speaks at learning technologies and foreign languages themed conferences and training events, both nationally and internationally. In addition, José is behind Boxoftricks.net, an award-winning blog where he shares his passion for the use of new technologies to transform the way we teach and learn.

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Following my response to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s call to ban mobile phones from the classroom, further questions need to be asked about the direction we are taking regarding the way our students communicate and the means they use to do so. Drawing from previous posts and subsequent comments, I’ll set out below why I think schools need to deal with the real reason why smartphones have become ubiquitous in our classrooms: social networking.

The use of social networking is increasing in all areas of society but, although students have been active in social networking for almost a decade now, during this time, schools and teachers have largely ignored their students’ clear desire for peer interaction and communication outside the classroom.

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