George Lucas Educational Foundation

Do you use social media tools in your classroom?

Do you use social media tools in your classroom?

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Recently I have found the survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, it says that only 41 percent of faculty use social media in the classroom, but this use continues to experience steady year-to-year growth.

I would like to use social media in my classroom and don't know where exactly start.

I stumbled upon an article with a list of educative social media resources, but for me it is still unclear which of these to use.

So, how do you use social media in your classroom? Which social media network is the best for classroom use? What are your social media tips?

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Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Kenneth!
Some folks use tools like classroom parrot to text kids about upcoming assignments, reminders, bonus questions and the like; you can do this on Twitter as well. You can form groups on Facebook to help kids study for exams, or facilitate conversations about the material. You can use Skype or Google Hangouts to hold virtual office hours.
I always think you need to have a pedagogical reason for the use of any tech- what would you like to do that would involve connecting with kids outside of the classroom for academic purposes? Youtube videos? Podcasts? TED talks? Don't add tech for the sake of using it, use it for a real and meaningful purpose that meets your needs as well as those of your students.

Gwen Pescatore's picture
Gwen Pescatore
President Home & School Assoc, #ParentCamp Organizer, Co-Moderator #PTchat

What are you looking to achieve?

My children's school has used a few things...

You can let the students share their learning on a blog. Students benefit and parents see the learning through their children's eye. Not live convo - but parents/family/friends can still interact through comments.

You can tweet. A great way for families to have a window/see a snap shot of the learning happening throughout the day and possibly engage in the activity as it is happening. I would suggest any pictures focus on the learning/experience happening and not a child's face...nor mention names.

The fun part with Twitter is you can Storify the tweets each week and send out so everyone on Twitter or not can see. Downside, not as common as say Facebook, so training sessions may be needed to help others join.

Twitter, Facebook, G+ and blogs (anywhere that allows 2-way communication) I think are all great opps for increasing family engagement in your classroom.

Mystery Skypes have students asking questions to guess other's location.

I have to agree with's not about bragging rights that you have used a particular tool - but stretching the learning (be it for the students or families). I think as with anything, social media needs positive role modeling, and making it a place to go to learn more about the learning going on in your class.

Allowing students to create and show off what they've learned is awesome to see from a parent's point of view.

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