Gone are the days of attending school with a backpack filled with pens, pads, and weighty books filled with the student’s scribbles, or worse, explicit drawings. A return to education has resulted through a need for the latest and greatest gadgets and an incestuous need to network using social media.
The good thing about today’s web-savvy students is that the importance of education is back in the spotlight. Sure, prom is still a priority, but competition for success within the classroom has become fierce. Companies such as Revolution Prep are sprouting up everywhere with the intent to serve the needs of today’s brightest and best students. Revolution Prep is just one company employing tutors from the likes of Harvard, Princeton, and UCLA with a mission to help the future of tomorrow prepare for the SATs of today.
Laptops and social networking have become just as essential in everyday classrooms as teachers. One expert on the topic of social media vs. education is author and speaker Melissa Giovagnoli. The mother of two, Melissa owns Networlding which works with some of the country’s largest corporations such as Motorola and Disney. She has authored various books on the importance of social networking, but her latest book, Graduate to LinkedIn, helps high school and college students realize the value, and hidden job market, of using the social media platform LinkedIn.
The atmosphere established in today’s public and private education system insinuates that a student’s best is no longer good enough. Students have to try harder, strive for better test results, and learn the importance of combining their education with their social media networking skills. The benefits of students being tech-savvy far exceed the loss of last decade’s broken education system. Even though the country isn’t out of the woods yet, social media and online tutoring resources really are helping to evolve a keener generation of students.
Performing arts programs are benefiting too. When it comes to budget cuts within the public school system, it is usually the performing arts programs that are eliminated first. These programs are viewed as elective courses with no real benefit. One school in New Jersey is helping to change not only this ill-conceived perception but how these types of classes are accessed. Biryukov Academy recently offered a free art lesson, via YouTube, for students of all ages. Since the class was online, kids and adults could access the lesson from wherever they were and whenever they wanted to.
Biryukov Academy has maintained a social cause platform, backed by scientific studies, on the various neurological benefits derived from art, foreign language, music, and theatre classes. Now, thanks to the Web 2.0 culture amongst today’s students, school budgets and teacher disengagement no longer will influence how artistically enriched they are.
Recently, the media has been filled with terrible stories of online bullying and cyberstalking amid today’s students. While these events have been very real and disturbing, the internet and social media have proven to provide many benefits too. Education will hopefully no longer be about budgets and where a student is from but more about where a student is going and how social media and social networking can help him or her get there!