“One of the first things I say to all the classes I am teaching is ‘turn your devices on,'” said Beverly Macy, a UCLA educator and thought-leader in social media.

SMCLA May Event

From elementary school to collegiate education, students are becoming more engaged in the classroom through social media use.

Social Media Club Los Angeles’ May event panel “YouGot Schooled! The Role of Social Media in Education” delved into this topic with a highly informative discussion by several of Los Angeles’ education thought leaders.

These thought leaders include

d Macy; Otto Khera, Senior Manager of USC’s Center for Scholarly Technology; Pearl Arredondo, a Teacher at the San Fernando Institute for Applied Media and Eric DeSobe, Associate Director for Teaching and Leadership Development at KIPP LA Schools. The panel was moderated by Clint Schaff, VP & US General Manager for DARE and an adjunct professor at USC.

Each of the panelists gave insightful information on the use of social networks and technology in schools, and how its improving education through increased engagement amongst students.

On the elementary school level both DeSobe and Arredondo said they use several internal education-based social networks in their classroom that are visible only to those in the class. “It’s really exciting to see students have access to information at their fingertips,” Arredondo said.

EdModo (www.edmodo.com) is one example of an internal education-based social network, they said. With technology and social media in the classrooms also comes challenges.

“You don’t want the technology to distract from the goal [of educating],” DeSobe said.

Students still need guidance, especially with technology, each of the panelists acknowledged.

“On a kid level, when you’re doing a Google search and get 1.5 million hits, it’s scary,” Arredondo said.

Schaff reiterated at the end of the panel that “it’s evident there’s not going to be less social media in education going forward.”