Social media includes web- and mobile-based technologies to support interactive dialogue and communication between organizations, communities, and individuals. (Wikipedia) The ways in which students communicate and learn are changing because of social media tools. The classroom is no longer limited by four walls. Social media expands possibilities for teaching and learning.
What is social media?
This movie by Common Craft gives a great analogy that explains social media and its benefits:
Poll everywhere is a website that allows teachers to create instant polls that their students may respond to via text or via the web. This is a great way for teachers to check for understanding. Polls on Poll Everywhere also make great exit tickets. My favorite part of the site is that the results are shown in a live feed that you can display for your class to see.
- Poll Everywhere - Social Media Poll
What is Facebook? Watch the follow Common Craft videos to find out:
- Social Networking (Facebook) by Common Craft on YouTube
- Social Networking (Facebook) by Common Craft on commoncraft.com
- Facebook - Facebook can be used to communicate with students and parents about what is happening in your class. Homework assignments, discussion questions, and upcoming events are easily posted, and students can easily respond. The main benefit of using Facebook, in my opinion, is that most students are already using this social network. This means they do not have to create another account, and they are more likely to see your posts. Be cautious, however. "Friending" students is usually not a good idea. Try creating a class fan page instead so that students and parents can follow your page posts without you having to "friend" them or allow them to access your personal information.
- For more information about using Facebook in the classroom, check out this article from The Innovative Educator: 8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Schoening's First Grade Class -- The Innovative Edcuator
- Edmodo - This is an education-friendly, Facebook-like option for managing your class on a social network site. The benefit of using Edmodo is that you have a Facebook-looking interface, but with much more teacher control over content and posts. The drawback is that students typically do not already use Edmodo, making it one more account and one more network they have to access.
- Fakebook - Fakebook is not a complete social network, like Facebook. Instead, it is an site where students can create fake profiles for historical figures in a Facebook-like interface that they are familiar with. Watch the video on the Fakebook webpage to see how it works!
What is Twitter? Watch the following Common Craft movie to find out:
- Visible Tweets - Create a Twitter hashtag for your class, and have students post questions, thoughts, comments, and feedback using the hashtag. Enter the hashtag into Visible Tweets, and project the feed to create your own classroom backchannel.
- Twijector - Use this just like you would Visible Tweets, except get a more artistic display of the feed.
- For more ideas for using Twitter in the classroom, check out this article: 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom.
Twhistory is a site that helps teachers create a Twitter feed recreation of an historical event. Students can research events using primary sources, then Tweet about the event as if they were a person experiencing the event first-hand. Click on the links below for more information and to see examples of Twhistory recreations:
- Tweeting from the Titanic: All Hands on Deck
- The Titanic
- Titanic Questions
- The Bombing of Pearl Harbor
- Students worked in groups of 2-3
- Each group was assigned a Pearl Harbor character
- Each group:
- read the eyewitness account of their assigned character
- composed tweets as if they were that person experiencing the bombing of Pearl Harbor
- recorded their tweets on the google spreadsheet
- recorded the date, time, and the tweet with the hashtag #csdendorse
- Tweets were scheduled using SocialOomph
What are blogs? Watch the following Common Craft movie to find out:
- Blogger - Google's blog site - Students must be 13 or older to have their own account.
- KidBlogs - Teachers manage student accounts and have admin rights to all student-created blogs.
- Edublogs Curriculum Corner is a great place to find blogs other teachers and students are creating in specific content areas. - History and Social Studies
- Edublogs Directory is a great place to find blogs other teachers and students are creating. - History and Social Studies
What is Weebly? Weebly is an online WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website creation site. Visit the following links to learn more:
- Student Website Portfolios - Students can create their own website to house all of the great school work they do over the years. So often students lose track of projects, essays, and technology creations. Weebly is a great way to organize them into online portfolios to show colleges, employers, family, and friends.
- Click the following links to view examples of student sites:
Revolutionizing Industry: Henry Ford's Moving Assembly Line
Marching for Civil Rights
Weebly Country Reports - Spain
- Professional Development - Our very own Education Technology Department uses Weebly to create this site as a place to gather professional learning materials and resources:
What is YouTube? "YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos." (Wikipedia)
YouTube is another great classroom resource. Teachers can find video clips that fit their curriculum on YouTube or any number of other video-sharing sites, like YouTube for Schools or Teacher Tube.
Some school districts block YouTube, making it difficult for teachers to share content they find. Dowload Helper is a Firefox browser add-on that can help teachers download copies of movies at home to later be played in class. Be careful to follow all copyright laws when using Download Helper.
Many YouTube channels have been created specifically for use in the Social Studies classroom. Some of my favorites are re-mixed music videos in which popular songs have been spoofed to include history-themed lyrics. For example:
I have listed just a handful of social media tools that can be used in the Social Studies classroom. For an even larger list of online tools and articles about using social media in the classroom, visit our "Bringing Social Studies to Life with Social Media" website.
I would love to hear ways you are using social media in your classroom, so be sure to comment on this post and share the great things you are doing!
Posted by Katie Blunt