I'm not sure how many of you have noticed, but here in the States, we're electing a new president today, along with a bunch of other influential folks. While I'm on the topic of tech in the classroom and getting blasted for talking about creating socially conscious kids, I think this is an ideal time to look at the changing role of social media.
It's only been recently that I've started to think beyond MySpace, Facebook, and Ning when the term social media pops into my head. However, how many of you will be Tweeting when you go out to vote today? NPR (among other traditional media outlets) is encouraging voters to use a variety of communications channels to report voting problems:
Twitter: Send a tweet with the phrase #votereport making sure to include your zip code and a description of the problem.
iPhone and Google phone: Download the iPhone app from the education section of the iPhone app store. For the Google phone, go to the Android Market and search for "votereport."
YouTube: In conjunction with PBS and YouTube's Video Your Vote project, you can upload a video to report any problems you experience.
Could you have imagined a scenario like this four years ago? Social media, like the Internet in which they exist, are changing the way we work, play, and simply exist as good citizens in ways we certainly couldn't have fathomed.
Social media has a place in education. That place is still being defined, but there's no avoiding it. Until (and certainly when) kids can look beyond MySpace and see how they can work in a new context, it's most definitely worth our attention.