Technology in the classroom is a hot topic. In addition to using technology in the classroom, there is conversation going on about using social media in the classroom. There are some risks in relation to using social media in relation to coursework but there are ways to prevent those risks from happening. Overall using social media in the classroom is viewed as a benefit and a way to get more students engaged.
Benefits for Teachers & Students
Integrating social media into lesson plans can be beneficial to teachers and students. Teachers can use social media as a way to supplement the material used in the classroom. Social media can be used as an additional way to generate conversation about the material being taught or projects going on in the classroom. Students can find social media as a less intimidating way to talk. For example, a student may find asking a question or speaking up during class as scary. Social media is often as a more comfortable way to ask or say something. So students can use the different forms of social media to bring up something mentioned in class or ask a question.
Types of Social Media and How to Use Them
There are so many different types of social media and the list seems like it keeps on growing. There are platforms to avoid and platforms to use in relation to the classroom.
- Blog: great way to post informational articles about lessons or post about the different lessons that are going on in class. There are also websites dedicated to being a platform for educational blogs.
- Twitter: a fun and easy way to have conversation. Teachers can post questions that students have to answer, post informational links to supplement material, or host challenges on twitter (for example: who can summarize the meaning of Romeo and Juliet in 150 words or less)
- Facebook: teachers can create a page where they can post when there is an online discussion or it can be a spot to have a discussion. For example, teachers can have students post in the Facebook group about the book they are reading for a book report. This is also a great place to have a Q/A spot for students are confused and need help with a concept.
- Skype: teachers can connect students with students and experts from across the world.
- YouTube: a great way to post videos related to class material.
- Pinterest: Teachers can create boards to share with students with information related to topics covered in class.
- Instagram: a great way to post real world examples of material that is covered in class.
All of these social media platforms are great for using for the classroom. They all have different benefits and depending on what and how teachers are wanting to use social media for will decide on which one or ones they will use.
Connecting with Parents
Using social media in the classroom is great for students, teachers, and parents. Having a school Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram page is great way to share information with parents from the school. The school can post any updates such as a school closing to school fundraisers. School administrators can even post updates on what is going on in different classes/grade levels. Informing parents on these sites is great because schools aren’t just posting information but parents can message or post to them on the sites if they have questions regarding the post or general information. Also, having teachers utilize social media platforms can have parents stay up to date on how each classroom is doing and what they are focusing on each day/week/month.
Social Media is Great
If you decide to use social media in your classroom there are a few things to do before implementing it.
- Get permission from the school
- Inform parents
- Find out if your school has social media guidelines and if not establish some
- Choose an appropriate social media service (you can create a classroom specific twitter or Facebook page.
Social media can be highly beneficial. Students can speak up if they are too shy to while in class. Teachers can post information to students and parents. Schools can keep parents updated on school activities. Those are only a few of the benefits seen from using social media in education.
Do you use social media in the classroom? Let us know what platforms and if you think it is beneficiary!