I’ve had a TikTok account for about two years now, but like many of my other social media accounts, it makes an appearance as often as the Loch Ness Monster. I’ve probably only logged into my TikTok account half a dozen times over the past few years. Each time has been because a student wanted me to watch a video that I “had to see”, or to familiarize myself with a trend that my students were currently into. With that being said, I fully believe that there are a lot of intriguing features and benefits to social media platforms such as TikTok.
I spent about an hour today scrolling through various TikTok accounts, but mostly educational ones. I quickly understood how some students get so wrapped up in their phones and, before you know it, an hour has gone by. There was some great educational content that I stumbled upon that I found to be wonderful reminders of the ‘little things’ we do in a day as educators that can make a big impact on our students. For example, one teacher (Mrs. Wagenleitner TK Teacher: @kriswags3) was telling her students why they shouldn’t vocally announce “this is easy” when learning about a topic. All people in educational settings (students and staff) need to be mindful of the words that they say and how what they say might affect those around them. I found it interesting that such a ‘simple’ video about language created so much dialogue. More than 10,000 comments were made about this video, mostly in agreeance with Mrs. Wagenleitner. However, not everyone agreed with her, but I guess that’s the power of social media. In an instant, it creates the opportunity for dialogue that has no geographical barrier. For many reasons, it is a huge benefit to be able to connect with people who are engaged in similar areas as you. At the same time, it allows for immediate critique of both personal and professional values.
For these reasons, I do think TikTok can be used in educational settings (specifically with children) in advantageous ways. However, students and parents both must be aware that using these platforms come with their own unique challenges. To the extent that social media allows for great conversations and critical reflections, it also allows for anyone who disagrees with you to express their beliefs, often times cloaked in anonymity. It becomes important to recognize that this can be an educational opportunity in itself. Students need to be taught that it is okay for there to be a disparity in opinion. However, how we respond to these disparities and communicate our own beliefs needs to be done in respectful, ethical, and appropriate ways; all of which are teachable aspects that educators can work towards with their students.
Thanks Michael for sharing. I like that various advantages you have mentioned about TikTok for educational purposes and how it leads to be act as very beneficial for the students. I really like it.