Saturday, March 1, 2014

Social Media in Your Classroom

In a recent survey a large percentage of teachers expressed concern in the idea using social media in their classroom.   Monitoring student posts and the fear of “friending” students were the most often noted concerns.

Using social media in the classroom as a means of collecting and sharing knowledge has great value. It allows for collaboration with a broader audience. It offers a global perspective and an opportunity to connect with experts. It’s not about being “social”; it’s about the learning. 

The concept of using social media to support learning is one part of applied Social Pedagogy – “design approaches for teaching and learning that engage students with what we might call an 'authentic audience', where the representation of knowledge for an audience is absolutely central to the construction of knowledge in a course.” (Bass & Elmendorf).

Here are some ways to integrate our favorite social media tools into lessons that emphasize the learning:

Twitter: Gather real world data; post images of work; dialogue between two opposing characters; build a narrative; take polls; use as a backchannel; communicate with experts; follow current trends and people
Instagram: Showcase student work; field trip scavenger hunt; time lapse developments in science; create writing prompts; visualize geometry; illustrate figurative language
Flickr: Connect and collaborate; create portfolios; make digital stories and promotions; select designs; geolocation and mapping projects; critical analysis; how-to guides; capture events

Do you use social media as a learning tool in your classroom?  Let us know what you are doing and share ideas.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I write serials for use in classrooms as part of an NIE program, and we post a blog where students can ask me questions or comment on the serial. No information is gathered, no last names are ever posted, all comments are approved before posting. It is safer than an author visit in the school! But despite being in as many as two dozen districts at a time, we've never had more than two or three teachers take advantage of the chance to interact with an author.

It's a shame to waste the opportunity out of irrational fear, especially when many of the kids will go home and do far more dangerous things with no adult oversight.