The PBS Frontline video “Generation Like” addressed how “liking” something on social media is becoming its own form of currency. While my students are not yet using technology to publicly connect with strangers, because of their age, I believe knowing how kids generally use the Social Web can help me in my classroom. I use mini white boards and hand signs to get the pulse of the classroom throughout the day. I can use their desire for instantly expressing their opinions to constantly get feedback to direct my instruction.
The video mentioned that the kids are the market, and they themselves are informing businesses how they want to be marketed to. I think the classroom dynamic is a bit more complicated, but even so, I am there to serve the needs of my students, so knowing how they are doing with a certain idea or task helps me serve them better.
Overall, the “Generation Like” made me a little bit nauseated, in the area of social relationships in the classroom. The words “like” and “friend” used to be problematic enough for kids, and now they have a whole new significance. I have to comfort many children because “She doesn’t want to be my friend” or “He doesn’t like me”. Now those words are even more powerful. While “like” and “friend” may be only causing drama with my young students on the playground at this point, I am sure the impact of those words will become much more profound when they start using the Social Web.