I recently read this study about the use of social networking in undergraduate education and found myself feeling old. Since I attended a small, private university, it took longer to petition Facebook to come to our school than it did for larger, public universities. That was back when only college students could have a Facebook account, and I explained how I heard things via Facebook by saying, "Oh, they wrote on my wall, which is like sending a message, like an email, but where everyone can see it. I mean, everyone who I'm friends with on Facebook, which is a website where you can upload pictures and people can look at them." Now, even my grandparents know exactly what I'm talking about if I say, "I saw it on Facebook."
In 2007, some of my friends took a class where they were required to have a Facebook account and participate in discussions pertaining to the course content. They were also placed in groups and had group projects that all took place via Facebook. The rest of us thought that this sounded kind of fun, but also really easy. It turned out to be not as easy as anticipated, because they obviously still had to do work, but nobody really complained about the format. That was the only time I heard of Facebook being used in a college class.
In my high school Spanish classes, I used social media a lot, but never personal information. For example, Zambombazo has a section called Twiccionario where they create worksheets using authentic Tweets. I also used Youtube frequently to show commercials or short video clips. I have found social media to be less easy to use in P.E. classes, mostly due to the nature of the class and inconvenience of needing to set up the computer and projector each time.
But for some reason, it makes more sense to me for college professors to engage sites like Facebook and Twitter into their classes than high school teachers. I think it's because college students are adults. They are independent, responsible for themselves, and are choosing to be there. Professors have less need to worry about being friends with students on Facebook than high school teachers do, if nothing else, purely because of the age of the students. It's also easier to require college students to use a computer and internet. High schoolers usually, but not always, have access to both of those things, and at least at my school, it is difficult to get time in a computer lab. Logistically, it just seems easier to have the emphasis of social media be in college instead of high school.