The expression that learning exists outside the four corners of the classroom can't be truer than today. With the advent of technology, education has evolved in innumerable ways, each one as crucial and innovative as the next. Technology doesn't just aide online education and distance learning.
Even the traditional format of education benefits from all these advancements.
Believe it or not, even social networking platforms can help teachers in making sure that they deliver their lessons effectively. Take Facebook for example. It's often seen as a distraction, something that students should stay away from during school nights. But it's hard to stop students from frequenting their accounts when they can access the website even in their mobile phones.
When it's difficult to stop doing students from going online, teachers can join them instead. After all, educators must always find a way to adapt and be flexible in accommodating the learning needs of their students. Facebook is a good way to look at this phenomenon. If you can't beat them, you can join them, right? Teachers can use Facebook to their advantage and make it an extension of their regular classroom lectures.
1. Create a group for the class.
For each class you handle, it's a good idea to create a group wherein you can interact with your students even outside school. Just remember not to intervene too much with their Facebook posts or else they might hide their posts from you. In the group, you can post announcements and further clarifications of things discussed in class. It can be pretty handy when you have something important to say about a project or a paper that can't wait till the next meeting.
2. Upload class materials in the group.
Though cloud computing is the current trend in technology often used in education, there's no denying that students frequent their Facebook more than their emails. You can use the Facebook group to share files needed for the class. For example, you can instantly upload the powerpoint you used in class. It's also where you can share ebooks and online articles that you may deem useful to the students.
3. Initiate intellectual but casual discussions.
To put Facebook into good use, teachers can use the group to initiate intellectual discussions with students. It doesn't have to be strictly related to their current discussions. For Math teachers, sharing brain twisters is a good way to get the students interested. To up the excitement, they can give bonus points in quizzes to the people who get it right. For English teachers, they can come up with discussion threads about the book they're reading. Make the question fun and not entirely academic to make the students participate. If you end up being incredibly technical in the discussion, your post may be seen but not liked or commented on. But of course, it's always up to you.
4.Make it a platform of expression for the class.
Some students don't like speaking in class. Raising their hands to ask questions seem to be too much for some of them. Thus, many questions students have in mind are left unspoken. In the Facebook group, teachers can encourage students to post their inquiries and ideas that they can't share in class. It's also a good way for students to raise clarifications that they failed to mention to their teacher face to face.
Instead of shunning technology and online distractions such as Facebook, it's better if teachers can find a way to use it to their advantage. Get with the times, as some people say. It may be difficult to level with the students, but it's all for the benefit of learning for both parties.