How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education

I've just been reading this interesting publication from the Brookings institution titled How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education.

At the beginning of the report there is a quote from Alan Daly, at the University of California at San Diego, who predicts that

"Education innovation will shift away from experts and capacity building to focus on networks… We have to start thinking about the expertise that resides in the system, and we have to be connected in order to make use of it. [Education] is moving away from large-scale prescriptive approaches to more individualized, tailored, differentiated approaches.”

This is a concept that is dear to my heart – the transformation of our current school system and its focus on the individual 'schoolhouse, into a networked schooling system, with its emphasis on the inherent strength of the network, on collaboration, sharing, synergy etc. 

Thus this monograph is less about the specific technologies and their particular uses in education, and more about their affordances as instruments of this transformation. The emphasis is less on how these technologies can be used as vehicles to 'deliver' the curriculum and improve student performance and more on how, in and of themselves, they are changing the very nature of the teaching and learning experience by enabling new ways for participation, engagement, and collaboration to take place.


3 thoughts on “How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education

  1. Thanks for saying this Derek.  I see that we as educators are slowly changing our ways and this change needs to happen much faster.  This shift that needs to happen is much great and larger than intergrating technology in to the curriculum.  It needs to be the way in which we change from our old way of teaching to a new way.  The new way being a more student-driven education, where students have more control to customize their learning, which I feel will lead to students being more engaged in the learning process.  I do however see that this is where we need to be but as a classroom teacher, I also see the reality, which is that schools these days are driven by tests.  And the pressure that these test put on teachers and their students leaves them very little time or opportunity to let students direct their own learning.  Students are mandated to learn very specific skills and that is all that most teachers have time for.  So for me teaching in the trenches the real change needs to be much larger, a change in education policy that will give educators the ablity to impliment the change to a more student driven curriculum.

  2. I so appreciate this post, especially in light of recent discussion in the Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere that seem to imply mass education, even with social media, is the wave of the future. I work in remediation, and more and more we are dropping large remediation programs for individualized and customized paths to remediation for struggling students. And I do not think it's just the struggling students who benefit from individual attentiona and customized curriculum, which is why I think MOOCs and companies like Coursera and the Khan Academy have larger obstacles than they think to reaching a mass audience of serious learners.

  3. As an educator, I believe it is very important to teach material that is important for the future of the students. When inventing my math and memory system Brainetics (, I wanted to focus on new subjects and innovative methods to teach. By teaching for the 21st century, students will be more prepared in the future. It seems like so many aspects of today’s society centers around the digital environment and teaching should be altered to adapt.

    Great article,

    Mike Byster
    Inventor of Brainetics, Educator, Author of Genius, Mathematician

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