Going to the post office to send a letter, picture or an important file is now an old-fashioned issue. The excitement of waiting for a reply from a relative or friend who was living abroad has disappeared as well. Old memories that just the ones who experienced them know the satisfaction and sometimes frustration that they carried.
Apparently life has been eased. Currently sending or receiving something from far away is a matter of just a click. It takes just seconds or probably milliseconds for information to travel from one edge of the earth to the other. Social networks such as facebook, twiter, and others have revolutionized the way people teach, learn and interact to each other.
Nothing has escaped social networking. Marriages as well as divorces, politics, religion, terrorism, peace, robberies, mocking, wrath, science fiction, extraterrestrials, and the universe itself have been prisoned by this phenomenon. Is education the exception to this issue? Not at all! The way students learn and teachers present the knowledge is varying abruptly because of the same reason.
The million dollar question is: It is something positive or negative? Opinions vary according to many different factors. Most of the people see it, however, as a positive issue. Whereas the increasing of people with access to internet is growing unrestrictedly, one out of each seven people around the world has a profile in facebook.
Needless to say, the process of teaching and learning has drastically changed due to the revolution of internet and technology. There are cases of teachers who have designed a course almost entirely based on a social network. Educative institutions as well as social and psychological ones are adapting their programs to be taught online and using social networks.
I have met students who cannot live five minutes without facebook. It becomes easier to take away a candy from a child than prohibiting a student to use facebook for a couple of minutes. Face to face interaction has disappeared; privacy has been disrupted as well, and different types of conflicts have emerged.
What kind of students are we modeling? Addicts? Probably not drug addicts, but facebook addicts? Is there any sort of positive addiction? I personally don’t think so. I do not want to be part of the teachers preparing robots, with no feelings at all, to rule the coming generation. I really miss going to the post office, reading printed books, or chatting with my relatives and friends under the shadow of a starry night.