A case for the inclusion of social media in primary and secondary school curriculum has been made by experts in the field. This development, they argue, will not only avail pupils ample technological knowledge but also prepare them for the next generation of social media usage.
Speaking at a programme tagged Social Media in Schools: A Case for Tech Curriculum organized by Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), Gbenga Sesan the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) argued that the tech curriculum is already in schools and only need a formal introduction.
“Gone are the days when curriculum determines what a student learns and the teacher is the lord and saviour, today, the students are far ahead of their teachers, they learn series of new things by the day through access to the internet and social media.”
Gbenga noted that though incorporating social media in the school curriculum will be of immense advantage, such step should be taken with great caution.
“In implementing, we need to take content to where these children already are and make it fun-like. In my secondary school days, I watched a movie on a book we were supposed to read in class and the next day when the teacher asked questions about the book I answered all the questions and he began to blame others. I got a better understanding of the book through the access I had to visuals. That’s the kind of magic social media should do to our students.
“We need to create a connection between students and social media by making sure that relevant content is drafted for the long term purposes. People fail mathematics because they don’t see the long term application of it. If we use social media to explain the long term usage of what they learn in class, they will appreciate it more.”
In corroboration, Adeyemi Odutola, the Communication Officer of W.TEC stated that the social media curriculum should be carefully designed to manage excesses.
“We first need to teach our children the right way to use the social media. It may not work if we don’t take a positive approach. The social media expose curriculum should be able to manage the excesses of the social media.”
Also on the panel of discussion are Ommo Clark, CEO of IBEZ and Seun Sonade of Ericson.
While Ommo posited that the introduction of social media in the school curriculum will create more harm than good, Seun agreed with other speakers adding that the knowledge the students gain from such will prepare them to work on the next generation of social media applications.
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre, (W.TEC) is a Nigerian non-governmental organisation working to empower girls and women socially and economically, using information and communication technologies (ICTs).