I have not always been a huge proponent of the use of the internet, specifically online social networks, within the educational process. If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be helping to institute an Instagram assignment in the lab that I am a graduate teaching assistant and would be designing my dissertation project research on the use of social networking sites as motivators to worksite wellness interventions, I would have said, “What is Instagram?” and “I already have Facebook.”

Sometimes I think that it is especially difficult for those in older generations to foresee the future of education. If we are expected to teach the younger generations then it seems only intuitive that we listen to their interests and adapt to them, not the other way around, which seems like a pretty backwards of doing things if you think about it. The typical practice of lecture and then regurgitation of information has been pressed upon most children within the typical educational system by those who are older than them. Instead, let us learn from our students and embrace the technology and what they have to teach us about more interesting ways to learn. With student’s hands practically glued to their cell phones, we need to stop trying to get them to put their phones down and quit forcing them to step away from their online communities and instead encourage them to lean into the digital world and the realm of educational content that exists at their fingertips.

Regardless of generation, the vast majority of those who go online think the internet has been good for them personally. Therefore, I feel that it is important that the educational system continue to evolve and to push the outer limits of what is possible in education. If experiential learning is considered education, then why not networked learning?