Oct
14
2012

Social Media as a Teaching Tool

Guest Post By Stacey Anderson

As the world changes, teachers have to adjust their teaching
methods to get through to their students. Every generation brings out a new set
of instructing obstacles, especially with the recent growth of technology. If
you’re aiming to be a “cool” teacher, or at least a relevant one, you
might want to look into using social media in your lesson plans. You could have
a much better chance of making an impact this way. Here are some different ways
you can incorporate social media into your teaching methods without losing
sight of your goals.

 

Question and Answer Sessions

If your students need to get in touch with you after hours,
you could open up the possibility of social network question and answer
sessions. A student might post a comment on your wall that you can reply to, or
he may send you a tweet that you can “re-tweet” at any time. Having
online discussions like this allows multiple students to see the same questions
and answers, preventing you from having to go through the same conversation
multiple times over. In the end, this could greatly streamline your
after-school help.

 

Scientific Experiments

Who says that science projects have to remain in the
chemistry lab? You could have your students conduct studies on the ways social
media impacts certain elements of their lives. Fans of The Big Bang Theory may recall an episode where Sheldon and Amy
conduct an experiment involving the growth of a rumor. They found that
“juicy” rumors (like a couple getting pregnant) grew at a much faster
rate than normal rumors (like a person growing a garden). What was the venue
for the growth? Technology and social media. Think of the endless possibilities
for your classrooms.

 

Discussion Boards

Many professors in online universities use discussion boards
to encourage students to communicate about issues in class. You could do the
same with social media and actually issue a grade for a person’s participation.
By asking students to voice their opinions online, you are encouraging students
to think about what they’re reading and form genuine views on it. There is no
better way to get the information to sink in.

 

Social media isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well
embrace it while you can. Otherwise, it will just be a way for your students to
forget about class completely. Ask your pupils how they might want to see
social media in the classroom, and respond to their requests in a creative way.
You may find that this is the perfect teaching tool for you.

Author Bio

Stacy Anderson is a freelance writer and holds a bachelor’s
degree in Education and Journalism. She writes guest posts for different sites
and loves contributing education and public school job related topics.

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2 Comments + Add Comment

  • My husband is a high school science teacher and decided to set up a Twitter account this year. He tweets reminders about homework assignments, tests and sends out interesting articles related to the subject he teaches. The students love it! I think it’s a great way to connect on their level and to keep them interested.

    Thank you for the post!

  • Good little piece. On caveat is FERPA regulations would say you cannot force a student to post online (at least open network things) because it would violate his/her privacy.

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