The choice to use social media in the classroom can be an intimidating prospect, but you may find it to be well worth the effort when you consider the multifaceted benefit of engaging with students in a format that is already familiar to them. Social media is an integral communication tool for many of today’s youth, and as students transition into their adult lives, proper digital etiquette as well as knowledge of how to use social media effectively could even have an impact on how successful they are in their future careers.
But using social media in the classroom is more than a teaching tool or a way to communicate with students. It’s also a way to showcase student work to the local community and to keep parents involved and informed of what their children are learning in the classroom. Of course, if social media use is allowed on your campus and you choose to make it a part of your classroom, be sure to get permission to post student work or pictures first. Also be sure to follow your school or district’s social media policies.
If you’re still looking for ways to implement social media in the classroom, try out one of these ideas:
Create a Facebook group. This is a great way to make announcements and remind students about upcoming tests and assignments. You can post articles, pictures, videos and other resources relating to class topics. It’s also a convenient forum for students to ask questions and hold discussions about what they’re learning in class. Learn how to create a group page on Facebook.
Create a Twitter page. This offers the same benefits as a Facebook group, allowing you to post announcements and reminders as well as share content and resources with students and answer questions. With Twitter, you can also create hashtags to start a topical class discussion. Learn how to get started with Twitter.
Create a blog. A blog is a great way to recap what’s going on in the classroom. This makes it easy and convenient for parents to stay engaged, too. Parents can follow along and see what their children are learning about or even see pictures of what’s happening in class. It’s also a great place to show off student achievements. Learn how to start a blog on WordPress.com.
Have students create blogs. Give students the opportunity to show off their work to family and friends. Students can improve their reading and writing skills while blogging about any number of topics. Have students reflect on the most recent lesson or write a review of the book that the class just finished reading. Learn how to create a blog on Blogger.
Create and post YouTube videos. Whether you just create short clips explaining complex topics or record entire lectures, providing students with video content is a great way to help students review or relearn concepts. Learn how to upload videos to YouTube.
Create and share YouTube playlists. YouTube is already populated with a ton of great educational content, so if you don’t have the time or tools to create your own videos, you can create playlists of videos that have already been published. Share these playlists with your students as an additional learning resource. If you do plan to post your own content, you can also organize your own videos into playlists. Learn how to create playlists in YouTube.
Have students create and post videos on Vimeo. Vimeo is another video hosting platform that can be used by students to create and upload their own videos. Students can use sites like Vimeo to create video blogs or review books or movies that you’re discussing in class. Video assignments are also great for theater and journalism classes, giving students a creative outlet to display their acting talents or report on school news. Learn how to get started with Vimeo.
Have students use Instagram to form a response in pictures. Instagram is a great way to show off what students are doing in class, especially student artwork and photography or photos of students working together on big group projects. But it also opens opportunities for a lot of fun assignments, like having students tell a story with pictures, find images that relate to a book they’ve just read, learn about metaphors, photo blog, have a scavenger hunt, and so much more. Learn how to get started on Instagram.