Social Media in Education: Resource Toolkit
This collection of blogs, articles, and videos aims to help educators deploy social-media tools to develop professionally, connect with parents and communities, and engage students in 21st-century learning.
Creating Social Media Guidelines
- A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom, by Vicki Davis (2014)
Davis, in the first half of a pro-and-con discussion about social media in the classroom, positions it as a vital life skill and provides 12 positive examples of classroom use. For the second half of the discussion, read this post by Ben Johnson: "Too Much Technology and Not Enough Learning?"
- The Digital Lives of Teens: What Time Is It? Now! by Matt Levinson (2013)
In this first installment of his Digital Lives of Teens series, Levinson considers the problem of translating the teenage urgency of 'always on' into the mindfulness of 'being present.' Be sure to read all five parts of this series to learn more about about the impact of social media and instant data access on teen life and the role of parents and educators in helping teens to navigate these realities.
- Introducing Social Media to Elementary Students, by Beth Holland (2013)
Holland, communication coordinator and instructor at EdTech Teacher, gives three age-appropriate examples of introducing social media to children in the lower elementary grades.
- SocialEdCon: What the Heck Do We Do With Social Media? by Betty Ray (2012)
Ray covered the social media discussions at SocialEdCon and found that positive changes in student behavior happen when schools and parents embrace, rather than ban, social media.
Student Engagement With Social Media
- Tweeting the Read-Aloud: Engaging and Motivating Readers, by Monica Burns (2014)
Engage young readers by showing them the value of composing and sending tweets to authors whose books they've enjoyed during a read-aloud.
- Frictionless Formative Assessment With Social Media, by Paige Alfonzo (2014)
Alfonzo, a reference librarian, cites EMS (experience sampling study) as a foundation for using social media as a formative-assessment tool for students who already live in that world.
- Using Social Media to Teach Visual Literacy in the 21st-Century Classroom, by Dave Guymon (2014)
Guymon, an online middle school teacher, defines visual literacy and proposes using three popular social-media modes -- Instagram, Emoji, and memes -- to enhance students' academic fluency.
- Big Thinkers: Mimi Ito on Learning in Social Media Spaces (2013)
Ito, an expert in young people's use of digital media, shares her research on informal learning in online communities, where students can build technology skills, learn media literacy, and create and share their work.
- Blogging in the 21st-Century Classroom, by Michelle Lampinen (2013)
English teacher Lampinen shows how weekly blogging assignments can transform a high school classroom into a community of enthusiastic writers.
- How to Co-opt Students’ Favorite Social-Media Tools, by Todd Finley (2011)
Finley defines social media as the new frontier, and he notes that adolescents are the early frontierspersons. Included in this blog are ten tips for adding social-media tools into the classroom.
Selecting Social-Media Tools
- 50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media, by John McCarthy (2014)
Social media can enhance differentiated instruction if the tools are selected with a careful eye on individual students' readiness, interests, and learning profiles.
- 4 Technologies to Help Students Find Their Voice in Your Classroom, by Terry Heick (2014)
Heick suggests helping students find their voice in the classroom through technology, whether a medium in which they're already comfortable or one that you believe will make them more articulate.
- 10 Social-Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners, by Sarah Wiki Loyola (2014)
Loyola, known for using authentic materials in her Spanish classes, explores ten ways that social media can engage a generation of students who prefer creative and collaborative learning over memorizing vocabulary lists -- including some suggested tools to use.
- How Educators and Schools Can Make the Most of Google Hangouts, by Mary Beth Hertz (2013)
Hertz gives us the basic on how educators and schools can make the most of Google Hangouts. You may also want to read blogger Andrew Marcinek’s post, “Google Hangouts as Edtech: Connecting, Sharing, and Learning.”
Home, School, and Community Connections
- Engaging Your School Community Through Social Media, by Howard Stribbell (2014)
A school leader shares his strategies for connecting his community via the school website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WeChat, and staff blogs.
- Creating a Dynamic Facebook Page for Your School, by Anne O’Brien (2014)
Facebook is a place where schools can take charge of their image. Check out these suggestions for building a page for your school.
- Parent Communication Toolbox, by Gwen Pescatore (2014)
While each school community is unique, there's a wide range of digital tools to keep parents involved when face-to-face communication isn't possible.
- Technology SAMR Model for Administrators -- Part 2: Community Interaction, by Josh Work (2014)
Through the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) model of technology, school communities can function more easily in supporting students and keeping parents informed.
- Twitter Support for Educators and Parents, by Joe Mazza (2014)
Mazza presents two new initiatives -- the #Nt2T chat and the Twitter 101 eCourse -- designed to bring teachers, school leaders and parents into the communication- and information-rich Twitterverse.
Social Media for Professional Development
Taking Charge: 5 Key Strategies for DIY PD, by Michelle Manno (2015)
Educators create their own professional-development opportunities with the many resources available via social media, bringing their admins on board with this new model. You may also want to check out the following related articles and posts:
- DIY Virtual Professional Development: Taking Ownership of Your Learning, by Monica Burns (2014)
- The 4 Components of a DIY Professional-Development Toolkit, by Dave Guymon (2014)
- DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup (2014)
- Reflecting for Change, From Journaling to Blogging, by Rafranz Davis (2014)
By journaling about your challenges and triumphs, you grow as a teacher. By blogging about them, you affirm, inspire, and help others grow. For additional resources and guidance to help you start your teacher blog, also see Matt Davis's "Start Your Teaching Blog: Resources, Advice, and Examples."
- Tools for Professional Learning: Curate, Share, Connect, by Beth Holland (2014)
Holland recalls how she came to recognize that professional learning embodies curating, sharing, and connecting, and reviews the tools that help her meet these needs.
- Social Media Savvy? Four Tips to Help You Get Started, by Lisa Dabbs (2013)
Dabbs provides another helpful, encouraging guide to developing your social-media savvy.
- How Do I Get a PLN?, by Tom Whitby (2013)
Whitby, a 40-year veteran of the teaching profession and an extremely connected educator, offers some basic, practical wisdom about what a PLN is and how to get one -- including tips for interacting and collaborating on social media. Also, check out George Couros’s post, "21st-Century PLNs for School Leaders," for additional tips geared toward school leaders.
Digital Citizenship and Online Safety
- What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship, by Vicki Davis (2014)
Teach your students about the "9 Key Ps" of digital citizenship as you help them acquire both proactive and experiential knowledge of the online world.
- What Bullying Looks Like in the Digital Age and How to Prevent It, by Amy Williams (2014)
As cyberbullying increases, our best options are recognizing patterns, keeping evidence, intervening when appropriate, reporting any incidents, and educating everyone -- bullies included.
- Striking a Balance: Digital Tools and Distraction in School, by Mary Beth Hertz (2014)
Hertz considers the problem of digital distraction in school, the dividing line between mobile devices helping and harming student performance, and the good-sense policy of teaching self-management skills.
- Student Fights Bullying With Positivity, by Kevin Curwick (Updated 2013)
Curwick, who was a high school senior when this post was written, describes how he decided to fight high school cyberbullying with a positive-themed Twitter account and ended up launching a global niceness trend.
- Rethinking COPPA in the Age of Social Media, by Audrey Watters (2011)
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act was put in place in 1998; Watters suggests that it could be time for a review.
- Digital Citizenship: Resource Roundup (2014)
Check out Edutopia's big list of articles, videos, and other resources on internet safety, cyberbullying, digital responsibility, and media and digital literacy. You can find all of Edutopia's content about digital citizenship, including relevant community discussions, on Edutopia's digital citizenship page; be sure to "+Follow" the page to receive updates.
Additional Resources on the Web
- The Guide to Pinterest for Educators, USC Rossier School of Education (2016)
- "Bringing Twitter to the Classroom," The Atlantic (2014)
- "Should Schools Teach Social Media Skills?," KQED's MindShift (2013)
- "Say Hello to Teachers on Pinterest!" Pinterest's "Oh, How Pinteresting!" blog (2013)
- "11 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to After Facebook, Common Sense Media (2013)
- "Teachers Talk About Using Social Media," Educational Horizons (2013)
- "8 Ways to Use Social Media to Connect and Coordinate With Parents," The Innovative Educator (2013)
- "Kids Online: A New Research Agenda for Understanding Social Networking Forums," The Joan Ganz Cooney Center (2012)
- "The Teacher's Guide to Twitter," Edudemic (2012)
- "100 Twitter Tips for Teachers," TeachThought (2012)
- "A Simple Guide on the Use of Hashtag for Teachers," Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
- A Blog about Social Media in Education, edSocialMedia
- Learn Voxer, Joe Mazza's Lead Learner blog