In the 21st Century, social networking spaces are permeating work places and learning environments; and we are not simply talking about the popular mainstream social networks like Facebook. Teachers and students are more likely to seek out platforms that support the establishment of networks that offer the privacy, safeguards, peer-to-peer connections, teacher to student connections, and parental and business community engagement. Furthermore, social network platforms in education ought to support resource sharing that meets specific instructional needs, conclusions drawn based on my experience with thousands of teachers and students across the globe.
While a lot of teachers and students are on Facebook, similarly useful for keeping in touch with peers and connections is CSTEMbreak. A social network for teachers and students that engages and supports the sharing of information around STEM learning, research, projects, scholarships, and internships as well as career and workforce opportunities. In this environment the teachers and students interact while maintaining their perspective roles along the education continuum.
Over the past five years, educators’ use of popular networks like Facebook and Twitter has increased overall, as has their use of platforms like CSTEMbreak. However, one area of challenge is the inability of school systems to evolve with technology, preventing the use of social networks for education. As a result, more teachers and students are inhabiting the internet on educational social networks via mobile technology instead of desk or laptop computers at school. In this way— teachers, students, and other communities continue to experiment and socialize over online networks, enriching their experiences in work places and learning environments.