We live in a world where ‘millennial live and breathe on social media.’
While some teachers are rigid and frown over the idea that social media be used in the classroom, others say it can actually be a useful medium for educational purposes. Reality is, if used in the right way, social media technology in the classroom can help increase student knowledge, improve communication between parents, teachers and students, allow students to get help from others and encourage student participation.
What gives a thumbs up to the idea of using Social Media Platform in Classroom is the fact that, students today are familiar with most of the social channels. Kathy Cook, the director of educational technology for the University Of Phoenix College Of Education thinks, “Students are using these technologies in their personal lives, so it makes sense to leverage them for teaching and learning.”
And, as teachers are always on a look out for ways in which learning can be made active, perhaps including social media in the learning space can just do the trick! Those teachers who are against the idea of using social media in learning must take into consideration that, these platforms need not be a platform of distraction and kids can be safe under the supervision of teachers to use different social channels in a positive way. So, the power lies on the teachers to channelize students’ action towards the positive ways of using social media in learning.
To get more into the discussion, let’s bring to you some of the practical examples on how different social media channel can be used by teachers to charge up students’ skill and their learning process.
Social Media Usage in Higher Education Institutes
1. Creating Public Profile to Share Research Work with the Broad Audience
Duke University’s Mark Anthony Neal from the department of African & African American Studies uses blog, Twitter, Facebook and other notable channels to share research work with students to bring students at discussion forum and gather feedback from students and attract public attention to their new course model.
2. Using Twitter to Gather & Share Data
Professor Margaret Rubega from the University of Connecticut uses Twitter for Data Collection and sharing in her ecology and Evolutionary Biology Class.
3. Using Twitter to Ignite Student Engagement & Know student’s Feedback
Together Prof. Monica Rankin and students at University of Texas at Dallas creates video to show their use of Twitter In a large history course.
Prof. Mark Sample from George Mason University is helping students use Twitter Backchannels to analyze a film with students.
Fun ways to use Social Media in K-12
1. Jacques Du Troit’s Twitter Experiment
The Australian teacher, Jacques du Troit makes the students create Twitter accounts as many of the well-known Aztecs. This whole exercise is carried out mainly to help his students enhance their creative expressions. The creative use of Twitter platform has helped his students’ work, fully engaged into the role of different characters.
2. Julie Hembree’s Global Poetry Unites Project
Global Poetry Unites project by Julie Hembree is a success and it’s all over Twitter. Classrooms participate from all over the world and find this forum through the hashtag #ClrPoem on Twitter. Kids From around the world get involved in various poem writing challenges and enhance their creative spark.
3. Kevin Jarrett’s STEM Lab Projects and Capstones
Kevin Jarrett is one of the leaders in STEM/STEAM lab creation and this teacher’s students share about capstone projects on their blog. Interesting fact about this initiative is help students use design thinking and with empathy, an innovative way to use science and math along with socio emotional learning.
4. Karen Lirenman and her Tweeting First Graders
Using a Twitter account, Karen Lirenman (@MrsLsClass) and her class shares their work with the world. This activity by Karen is praiseworthy because she does this being mindful of securely sharing students’ best work with a larger audience.
5. Kathy Cassidy’s Blogging Six Year Olds
Kathy Cassidy’s classroom blog is worth an example because she allows her students to showcase their creative talent in blogging by sharing their work with the world. Kathy says, I really want our classroom blog to be a digital portfolio of their developing skills.
6. Michael Hayes Science Challenge on Facebook
Michael Hayes is a science teacher who uses the YouTube Channel to guide and help the world becomes his classroom at 9pm each night when he posts his 9 o’clock challenge on Facebook. On wining the challenges, Michael makes it a point to send gifts to the winners and make them feel proud of their achievement.
Today’s students’ have a digital habit and there are many positive ways in which this medium can be used to incorporate social media in the classroom and into educational settings. As teachers, it is important to cover digital citizenship so that students understand how or the right ways to use social media inside and outside of school.
So, let’s check out some of these ways in which different popular mediums could be used by both the teachers and the students-
Use Skype for Guest Speakers
Skype is a widely known videoconferencing software that allows one to effectively bring in people from around the world. Teachers can make good use of the platform to reach out famous authors and subject related experts to talk to the students, share valuable insights and knowledge through videoconferencing feature of Skype.
Create a Class Facebook Page
Facebook is a good platform to not only share updates on class activities but conduct meaningful communication, announce on upcoming activities, inform on assignment deadlines and others. Teachers may build pages for different classes and keep the parents informed about their kids’ activities in class and also about the regular activities in school.
Devise a Twitter Channel
Twitter’s microblogging feature is a good choice for the teachers to work on the short bursts of information or help the students to practice concise writing. It is an easy tool to use, so teachers will not find much inconvenience in either creation of account or send students updates on classroom activities and homework.
Have we missed out any other interesting way to use social media platform in the classroom? And, are you up for the task and make good use of social media channels to make student learning in the classroom active and engaging?