We offer our top tips for integrating social media into your classroom. There’s no denying it: Students are just as obsessed as you are with social media. (OK, probably a little more.) According to Adweek, three out of four students in seventh through 12th grade have at least one social media profi

Oct 27, 2016

We offer our top tips for integrating social media into your classroom.

There’s no denying it: Students are just as obsessed as you are with social media. (OK, probably a little more.) According to Adweek, three out of four students in seventh through 12th grade have at least one social media profile and 96 percent of students with internet access report using social media networks.

But it’s not all cat videos and memes.

You might actually find your students using social media for conversations related to the classroom. That’s right, more than half of students use social media to talk about topics they’re discussing in class.

Since students are already talking about coursework online, it makes sense that teachers could involve themselves in that conversation as well.

If you think you’re ready to integrate social media into your classroom, you can use the following four ideas to get started.

Have an awesome activity you want to share? Add it in the comments!

 1. #Currentevents

In this activity, students are required to tweet a specific number of times about a topic in class.

For example, let’s say that you’re doing a unit on the solar system. You could require that students tweet three times a week related to that topic. Two of these three tweets would be current events related to outer space and the third tweet could be anything new or interesting they learned during class discussion.

When they tweet the articles about current events, ask them to share a quick summary or a quote they found to be particularly insightful. And don’t forget to have them use a unique hashtag so that all tweets can easily be found in one place, like #[yourlastname]spacenews.

Bonus tip: Twitter is wonderful because it can connect you to anyone else with an account—no friend requesting necessary. You just have to tweet at them! As a result, your students can easily reach out and contact people who work in any profession. For example, if you are teaching your students about glycolysis, they can easily ask questions of professional biologists.

2. Start a Blog

There are about one million ways your students can blog. One of the easiest is to have students regularly write meaningful summaries of content related to coursework. This content could be videos, news, or any article discussing your classroom topic—learning how school-related material connects to the real world.

For example, if you are teaching public speaking, have your students post their favorite TED talks. In their posts, they can discuss positive and negative behaviors demonstrated by the speaker and how these contributed to their perceptions of the speech overall. Bonus points if they can use correct terminology and reference information you discussed in class!

Not sure where to get started? We’ve got you covered.

 3. Create a Facebook Page

If you have a Facebook page for your class, you can do any number of activities with it — so be creative!

Another option is to add parents to the page. This keeps them engaged with their student’s education and it will help you create a connection with them as well.

On your page you can answer questions and post homework and exam reminders. This will keep your students involved and it will also help to prevent students (and parents) from forgetting when major assignments are due.

This also works well in combination with the previous two activities. Each week you can pick your favorite blog posts or take screenshots of your favorite twitter activity. Then, you can post the image to your Facebook wall for the students and parents to see. Generating positive feedback will keep students involved and foster healthy competition.

4. Collaborate with Classrooms Around the World

The beauty of social media is that it can connect you to people all over the world — use that to your advantage!

No matter the topic, you can connect your class with students in other countries.

By having a shared assignment, your students can learn to conduct group work in a computer-mediated environment. This is a crucial skill they can use in college and their professional careers.

Additionally, this opens the door to talk with students about intercultural differences and similarities as they work with their foreign counterparts. Through this project, your students learn more than course content. They learn how to conduct group work online and develop intercultural competence.

If you want to take it a step further, share current events and news about the region in which your partner class resides. In doing so, you will successfully engage your students with events happening outside of their immediate location and train them to be better global citizens.

Do you want to even more technology in your classroom? Consider QR codes. These can be used for a wide range of topics, including writing, biology, math and many more!

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