Social Media in School

by | Technology

Social media is taking classrooms by storm. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are powerful social networking tools, but the question remains – how are they safely used in the classroom?  As a result of their success, there exists social networks that have been created specifically for use at school and in the classroom. So, what’s with social media in school?

To keep kids engaged, teachers encourage students to:

  • Use a hashtag to facilitate guest speaker discussions

This allows students to interact with other students both during and after the presentation and look back on highlights or interesting topics for review. It also allows the guest speaker and teacher to engage with students afterwards. Moreover, students can interact with social communities outside of the classroom, so people who aren’t taking the class can also ask the guest speaker questions.

  • Create and maintain a blog

Many teachers are using blogging as a way to have students keep an online journal of class notes or reading assignments. This also allows other students to engage in open conversations and information sharing in regard to specific curriculum. Additionally, it enables students to establish and develop their own voice.

Teachers are encouraging students to maintain a profile and engage in professional conversations on LinkedIn as a way to prepare students for their careers. Fostering these relationships early will help students grow into their careers and develop long lasting mentorships with individuals who work in the fields that they are interested in.

  • Create podcasts of presentations and key classroom learnings

By developing podcasts, students can work in groups to create presentations about the curriculum that they can share with other people, other students, and/or parents. This teaches students about communications and broadcasting, and can support an interest in journalism or music.

  • Use Instagram to showcase classroom successes

Students can snap pictures of their artwork or science fair project to share with others. Teachers can invite a student to be the classroom photographer for a week to highlight key successes and presentations. Moreover, a student can document an entire field trip with relevant hashtags and tag other students as a reminder of what they learned on the trip.

  • Follow your classroom YouTube channel

By creating tutorials and uploading them to YouTube, teachers can create short homework videos and have students complete a short assignment or quiz that accompanies the lesson. Also, teachers can film student presentations and upload them to YouTube to teach about public speaking.

  • Follow news sources on Twitter or Flipboard

These are two social tools that make reading the news easy and fun! They emphasize headlines and if a student is interested, they can click to read more. The ways people consume information has significantly changed, and these two social networks has made reading important information easy.

For a digital classroom experience, try Edmodo or Second Life!