One of the most difficult points to overcome is that Local Authorities will use filtering and blocking to prevent the use of these tools, and so there can never be any positive examples. The best we can hope for is that some enlightened school/authority will permit a small scale validated and observed use of (for example) Facebook in a class setting to see if it does make an impact.
I’d love to see the results of such a study, even if it shows that there isn’t any net benefit to the use of social media, but at the moment — and I’m talking about K-12 education rather than tertiary education — the majority of “evidence” is anecdotal. We will never persuade anyone through the use of anecdotes…
You are right Neil SM gets regularly bashed in the press and teachers and students rarely see positive examples of it being used, so their perception errs on the negative all the time. If it is something that “happens” outside of school children will continue to perceive it that way along with the usual press media focus on the downsides.
I’ve seen this and can’t help but thinking that the problem(?) with Social Media and its impact has much to do with how education institutions approach Social Media. If a school or college actively embraces Social Media, what impact does this have on learner attainment?
If we harness and adapt the potential of SM, we can empower learners, and hopefully improve on the negative impact the SM currently has in some areas. This is all the more pressing given the uses of SM in the wider world.
Actually, the proof is in the chart. Looking at engagement through social media, it’s not too far a step to see that if classes were to use FB (for example) as a means of engaging learners, there is the potential to see more engagement in the work of the class.