Social media has changed the way we used to share information. It’s about time we give it the credit it deserves and finds a way to integrate into the education system.
Apps and Web sites from professional organizations as well as private individuals and commercial businesses abound. Opportunities for both research and unique forms of social and emotional support are part of the trend. While there are obvious advantages to having so much information available, social media has disadvantages as well.
The use of social media in education provides students with the ability to get more useful information, to connect with learning groups and other educational systems that make education convenient. Social network tools afford students and institutions with multiple opportunities to improve learning methods.
Social media empowers everyone including parents, teachers and students. It’s an effective way to share information and build a community. According to one study, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.
Fully, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’. Some use it for only for entertainment but it can also promote positive and useful activities. For instance, students use it to find information, promote a positive story, share something useful, and collaborate with projects and what not.
Implementation in school
- Teachers will also learn about safe use of social media, student versus teacher roles and digital classroom management. By the end of the course, teachers will have acquired more knowledge about using Apps and Social Media as an educational.
- 30hands Learning - The 30hands Learning Community is an excellent cloud based solution for.
Schools have different policies when it comes to adopting social media. It is a basic concern that it uses to share information and organise tasks. But it is also a reason for lack of attention students pay to their class and teachers.
The increase in adoption of social media is high as ever and students devote a considerable portion of their time to social media. They connect on it after school. It is acceptable for teachers, but they can’t stand children using it during class.
Well, it’s a matter of practicability because teachers can use an online universe to communicate with their students. There is no use for a case study on the use of social media in educational institutes. You need to walk down the hallway and see children of all ages are lost in their smartphones.
They are busy browsing their feed, sharing stuff on Instagram and sending each other Snapchat messages. This has become an important part of their lives. Organisations like EDsmart show how schools can do it.
How can teachers make their place in this realm?
Many learning management systems have been utilising the concept of online learning for years. Yes, these systems were in place for more than a decade. This is nothing new but it never enjoyed mainstream adoption, and we intend to change it. Teachers need to use changed technology to improve the learning process for their students. It helps the pupil to react positively.
It is crucial that teachers adapt to the way students are doing things. It is an important part of the whole educational process. It makes sense when a teacher is strict about homework but does little to nothing to ensure the students follow suit.
This helps the teacher get an insight into what their students are doing. It also lets student open up and share their opinion on important matters.
Strengthen your community
Using online platforms can help you strengthen your community. It will help improve the teacher-student bond. You can integrate social media by sharing important news, updates about upcoming events, and holding a meeting with parents. This can be done using tools such as iigers.com
It is a channel of communication because we are living in a fast-paced world today. Communication is vital, so you need all the help you can get.
Image credit: Freepik
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He interviews people within psychology, mental health, and well-being on his YouTube channel, The DRH Show.
Disclaimer: Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only. Materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer here.
The possibilities for social media tools in the classroom are vast. In the hands of the right teacher, they can be used to engage students in creative ways, encourage collaboration and inspire discussion among even soft-spoken students. But we've already made our case for why teachers should consider using social media in their classrooms. What about the how?
Even when people say they want to incorporate social media, they don't always know the best ways to do so. It's especially daunting when those efforts can affect the education of your students.
To help, we've collected seven of the the best classroom tools for incorporating social media into your lesson plans.
1. EDU 2.0
EDU 2.0 is a lot like online course management systems Blackboard and Moodle, but with a couple of distinct advantages. First, teachers can share their lesson plans, quizzes, videos, experiments and other resources in a shared library that currently hosts more than 15,000 pieces of content. Second, a community section allows teachers and students to network and collaborate with other members who share the same educational interests. And third, everything is hosted in the cloud for free.
The founder of software company The Mind Electric, who has roots in education, self-funded the development of EDU 2.0 in what the site describes as a 'labor of love.'
This means free access to some great tools: An online gradebook, customized quizzes, a debate tool, chat, classroom blogs, the ability to track proficiency and a customized portal page. You can also create a network by connecting classes by school and schools by districts.
The popular visual organizing and sharing tool Symbaloo launched its 'EDU' version last month. According to the company, 50,000 teachers are already using Symbaloo to organize classroom resources. The new EDU version comes with academic subject-specific resource pages or 'webmixes' and top tools like TeacherTube, Slideshare, Google Docs, Flickr and more are fully embeddable. Teachers with a 'Free Plus' account can add their school logo and customize the links. The site also allows students to easily share their Symbaloo pages and projects with classmates.
Educational Social Media Apps Like Facebook
'It not only becomes a way to organize yourself and find your websites, but a place to put your work,' explains Randy Hollinger, the middle school science teacher featured in the above video. '[SymbalooEDU] becomes sort of the e-portfolio.'
The tool is free for up to 50 userkeys, which include a school branded website and customized domain. Mashable readers can sign-up for a free plus account and get 150 userkeys here. A premium package for unlimited users starts at $2.00 per user.
3. Collaborize Classroom
There's no replacement for hosting in-person discussions in classrooms, but there are some benefits to moving portions of the discussion online. As high school English teacher Catlin Tucker points out in the above video, 'Class discussions seem to be dominated by about five to seven students. The same kids talk, the same kids don't speak at all...' For some students, however, online discussions are less intimidating to participate in.
This app gives teachers four discussion format choices. Students can either agree or disagree with a statement, answer a multiple choice question, post responses, or have the choice between adding a new response or voting for someone else's response. Teachers can add photos or videos to their prompts and all of the discussions take place on one class page.
Tucker says in the video that she uses the site for ice-breaking activities, creative writing prompts and peer editing. Other lesson plans are conveniently posted on a teacher resource page.
Democrasoft, the company that developed Collaborative Classroom, clearly field tested the product with their other businessiness-targeted products. The site is simple and effective; it's clear how to ask a question, invite class members and send messages. The service is free for one year if you sign up before October 31.
This WordPress-like blogging platform only supports educational content and thus, unlike WordPress, usually isn't blocked by school filters. Since 2005, it has hosted more than a million blogs from students and teachers.
Common uses for blogs in classrooms include group projects, reflection journals, school newspapers, class web pages and parent newsletters. But, as evidenced by the winners of the 2009 Edublog awards, there are plenty of other creative options for integrating the blogs into curriculum.
The award winners are public blogs but there is also an option to keep blogs private. This is one of many safety features. Another is that unlike general platforms like Blogger or WordPress, there is no exposure to other blogs. One aspect that might raise red flags for teachers is that ads are allowed on the free version of the site. A $3.33 per month fee, however, removes all advertising from up to 50 student blogs.
Teacher Matt Hardy developed the first version of Kidblog to use in his 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. He thought (correctly, it turned out) that his students would enjoy the collaborative nature of blogs, but general blogging platforms lacked safety considerations that would make them appropriate for school use. Kidblog doesn't advertise to kids, doesn't ask for their e-mail addresses, and gives the teacher full moderation power.
Kidblog is a bit more specific than Edublogs. There are fewer options to adjust the appearance of the main page, and it's hard to use the platform for anything other than as a system for managing individual class blogs. The homepage serves as a catalog of student blogs on the right with a recent post feed on the left.
Having said that, if you want to introduce individual class blogs to your K-8 classroom, this is the perfect tool for it. The interface is easier to navigate than Edublogs, and you can generate user names and passwords for students, teachers, administrators, and guests with a couple of intuitive clicks. Teachers are able to edit and remove any of their students' posts.
Teachers can also control how private they want the blogs to be. They can keep them student-and-teacher only, allow parents to log in with a password, or make them open to the public.
Edmodo looks and functions much like Facebook. But unlike Facebook, it's a controlled environment that teachers can effectively leverage to encourage class engagement. The platform allows teachers and students to share ideas, files and assignments on a communal wall. Teachers can organize different groups of students and monitor them from the same dashboard. Once they've organized classes, they can post assignments to the wall and grade them online. They can then archive the class groups and begin new ones.
There are several aspects that make the site safer than Facebook: There's a group security code that users need in order to view class discussion pages, and although students and teachers can communicate privately, there's no private communication function between students.
Educational Social Media Apps Had A Rap Battle
Some other nice advantages of using this site are the ability to connect with other teachers, a group calendar where students can easily see when assignments are due, and a mobile version that allows teachers to moderate discussions from anywhere.
7. TeacherTube and SchoolTube and YouTube
As the name implies, TeacherTube is YouTube for teachers. It's a great resource for lesson ideas but videos can also be used during class to supplement a lecture. For instance, you can let Mrs. Burk rap about perimeters if you like her idea but lack the rhyming skills to pull it off yourself. This site also has a crowdsourced stock of documents, audio and photos that can be added to your lesson plans. Unfortunately, every video is preceded by an ad.
SchoolTube is another YouTube alternative. Unlike other video sharing sites, it is not generally blocked by school filters because all of its content is moderated.
The original, generic YouTube also has a bevy of teacher resources, though it's often blocked in schools. Khan Academy consistently puts out high-quality lessons for every subject, but a general search on any topic usually yields a handful of lesson approaches. Some of the better ones are indexed on WatchKnow.
What resources have you found, are there any social media tools should absolutely should not miss? Let us know in the comments below.
Adult Social Media App
More Learning Resources from Mashable:
- The Case For Social Media in Schools - HOW TO: Help Your Child Set Up a Blog - 5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children - Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation - 10 Essential Tips for Building Your Small Biz Team
Educational Social Media Apps Downloads
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, skynesher