Musings on Social Media

Feb 13, 2014 by

Since this is Social Media Week on Last Backpack, I wanted to share my thoughts on using Social Media in the classroom.  There are lots of tools out there including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.  David’s use of Facebook in the classroom was highlighted here.  I personally use Twitter frequently in the classroom and have found it very helpful for the following:

1) Sharing Resources– I share articles, resources, tools, due dates, thoughts, etc. through my classroom twitter account.  It is an easy way to share information quickly and to expand the amount of knowledge that my students have access to than if we were just in the classroom.

2) Communicating with Parents– Since anyone can follow my classroom Twitter account parents and other key stakeholders can also know what is going on in my class.  This makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page.

3) Connecting with Professionals– Twitter has given me access to many leaders in multiple fields and it has also given my students access to those same leaders in education, politics, business, etc.  In fact, one of the best things to do is to connect to other educators and classrooms using Twitter and start content area chats, lesson swaps, etc.  Twitter gives my students access to leaders in real-time.  This makes their learning more relevant.  Which makes it more engaging.  Win-win.

Here are a few suggestions for using Social Media in Class:

1) Create separate personal and professional accounts.  I have three separate Twitter accounts- a personal one, a classroom one, and a professional one that I use for my own professional development.  No matter the tool, make sure to separate the photos and reflections about your lunch from the content that you want your students to have in class.

2) Pick one tool and become an expert.  Then expand if you want.  I like Twitter because it is the most appropriate tool for my class.  I don’t use Facebook professionally at all but there are lots of great reasons to do so, same with Instagram or any other tool.  The key is finding a tool that works for you and start slow.  You will quickly find out how valuable and useful it can be.

3) Think about Digital Citizenship.  I encourage teachers to have their students write tweets on paper and create Facebook profiles on huge Post-It notes hung in their classroom to teach students about appropriate use of these tools.  If a students wouldn’t “tweet it on paper” or post that photo on the wall in their classroom, they probably shouldn’t put it out digitally.  (And the same goes for teachers so try to avoid these mistakes…)

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply