Here is a link to my curation of Social Networking for teaching and learning:
I discovered some really interesting ways to use social media in the classroom. I visited a lot of sites that had lists of ideas. The goal for this assignment was to find actual strategies and projects that educators had used. We then had to think about how we would use these projects in our teaching or learning environment. It generated many wonderful ideas and uses for me.
The use of social media in the classroom to give students a voice was a great idea. Some students have wonderful ideas, but they do not readily share what they are thinking. Using a social media tool like Twitter allows students to share their ideas in a non-threatening manner. I have used tools such as Blackboard for my staff to share their ideas around a topic that I require feedback from the teachers. It also provides some excitement and engagement for students. They are able to use a different method to share what they are thinking.
I also really liked the idea of creating an on-line newspaper or magazine. Students would be able to share what is happening in their classroom and school. The students would have a voice for informing the school community about the current events in our school and in their classrooms. It would be unique because it comes from the students and it is their perspective.
The idea of sharing and learning from other students at a different location is also very intriguing. It is far more interesting and relevant to learn about another culture or country from someone who lives their. It would also be interesting to share thoughts about a book or a topic with a class in a different location. It would provide a new perspective to the students.
The use of social media tools in the classroom is a wonderful way to keep parents in the loop. They are able to know what is being learned in real time. It could provide parents with the opportunity to have rich conversations at home about what the students are learning. The more communication that can be had with parents the better it is for the students learning.
I also like how social medial can be a tool for assessment. Teachers can use social media as way of checking in with students. It is another method to find out what the students learned for a lesson and what they are still struggling with. It can also help engage students. They are able to share other things that they are wondering about a topic. They will learn at a deeper level and be more engaged when they make the learning personal. Teachers are also able to provide feedback to students, anytime and anywhere.
This project allowed me to see the many possibilities that exist for using social media in the classroom. I think that I will delve deeper into this idea. I will do more research and look at some the sites that were not allowed to be used for this project. I think that it would have been interesting to add some websites that discussed suggestions or lists. I would also like to spend a professional development day with my staff and explore social media tools. It would be great for my staff to have the ability to “play” around with some social media tools and be more familiar with how they work and how they could be incorporated into their classrooms. I will ensure that I have some educators at my school that have significant experience using social media. Students would probably be the best educators to have on hand : )