This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here.
Education and technology should not be viewed as two distinct entities, especially in today’s world. There are many ways that the younger demographic, K-12 age group, could benefit from having more of what would be considered “their world” incorporated into their everyday learning schedule. In the panel for “The Power of Social Media in Education” many topics were discussed especially those pertaining to just how much the Latin community needs a dose of technology in their day-to-day life.
For example, it is important that social media be used as a bridge between students, but equally as important is the need to involve parents. Social media should be a leverage to get a grassroots movement started within a community. Angelica Perez-Litwin identified the issue when she assessed that Latinos “need a lot more one on one contact and social media will be a good way to start that.” The use of social media is the perfect tool but it is only the beginning, different resources or mentorship programs have to come hand in hand with the upgrade in technology.
Mentorship programs are just one example of how using social media could really have a strong impact on a child’s life. Another example would be the use of Google, Google+, or Google Docs. All of these Google branches are being implemented in schools to help students work in groups, while still allowing the teacher to moderate who does what amount of work. They are all very user friendly and they demonstrate how technology could be used in the most positive way to complement, not supplement, what is taught the traditional way in class.
Nonetheless the most important point I took away form this particular panel is that many students might not be fully aware of all the resources that are available to them. The implantation of technology in less affluent school districts is not an easy feat, but it is not impossible either. Students in all areas of the world deserve the chance to incorporate the newest technologies into their educational world. Social media would be able to be a catalyst for change among these communities if only they were given the chance.
While many initiatives are being made to bring a technological revolution to communities that are lacking access to computers or internet, there is still a need for “new content to try and get Latino parents to help kids in their education” as stated by Jose Luis Rodriguez. The new content aimed at the Latino community has to be both geared to their necessities and understanding of their possible limitations. A implementation of both a grassroots form of communication coupled with social media seemed to be the verdict set out by all the panelists.