Whoa. So over the past few days I’ve had a bit of a revelation. It occurred due to three disparate events; a Google+ Hangout from the COETAIL crew, a podcast from This American Life, and a conversation with family about a younger sibling. Let me explain.
The Hangout. I listened to this first. Jeff, Kim and others discussed for an hour all sorts of ed-tech related issues. During one of their conversations, someone (working on finding it back) mentioned that kids aren’t on Facebook anymore, that they’ve moved on to other forms of social media. It wasn’t a particularly mind boggling insight, but I filed it away in the back of my mind nonetheless.
The podcast. This American Life sent a few reporters to a Chicago public school that had 29(!) shootings last year to conduct interviews and get a sense of what it’s like to be in the midst of all that tragedy. During one of the interviews the AP said that kids aren’t on Facebook anymore, that everything is on Twitter. Again, it wasn’t earth-shattering news (nor was it even the point of the interview) but this was twice in the last few days I had heard someone say this.
The family convo. I was talking with my wife and sister-in-law about their other sister, a high school sophomore, and we were perplexed at how often she puts information on Twitter and is then surprised when other people see it. We realized she hadn’t updated her Facebook in 10 days but had posted to Instagram and Twitter about 10 times in the last 24 hours. Then it clicked. Kids (10-18?) really aren’t on Facebook anymore.
Whoa part 2. This phrase is overused, but this blew my mind. Facebook, what we all aspired to emulate and harness the power of as educators, has already come and gone in the pre-college generation. They’re already on to other forms of social media. How do we hope to keep up with this? Should we even try?
Final Thought. There is much to-do about “meeting the kids where they are” and allowing them to more or less direct their own education and I can’t help but feel a.) slighted at the fact that I’ve spent countless hours in college and beyond trying to figure out how kids learn, only to be told that we need to leave it up to them and b.) intimidated by the prospect of even attempting to keep up with what’s new out there. Good thing I have COETAIL and a kickin’ PLN to help me out.