We really need to get away from this: It’s just not realistic these days.
In my classroom,I try to teach students to use these for GOOD, not evil. Thankfully, my administrators are okay with that. (Hi, Admins!)
Why I let my students use smart phones in class: Smart phones are just little computers. They are the primary way through which students communicate these days. They are not going away. It’s easier to embrace technology than it is to ignore or fight it. Students are going to use them anyway. They can make learning more fun. They allow students to access social
So, what exactly IS social media?Our trusty friends* at Wikipedia say:Social media employ web- and mobile- based technologies to support interactive dialogue and “introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals.”Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking.
Another definition:According to Social Media Defined:Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information. This new form of media makes the transfer of text, photos, audio, video, and information in general increasingly fluid among internet users.
Oooo, here’s a good one!Daniel Nations (about.com) writes:The best way to define social media is to break it down. Media is an instrument of communication, like a newspaper or a radio, so social media would be a social instrument of communication.Social media sites don’t just give you information, but interacts with you while giving you that information. This interaction can be as simple as asking for your comments or letting you vote on an article, or it can be as complex as Flixster recommending movies to you based on the ratings of other people with similar interests.Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.
Why should teachers use social media with students? According to Wikipedia*, in 2012 social media became one of the most powerful sources for news updates through platforms like Twitter&Facebook. About 1.43 billion people are predicted to use social networking this year, according to digital marketing company eMarketer(Ohio State University).
Another reason why:Jason Falls argues that “teachers who resist using social media in the classroom are stripping their students of an essential component of their future success. Avoiding–or worse, banning–social media platforms for students prohibits them from being successful professionals in fields like accounting, chemistry, the arts and more. Why so declarative? Because social media have become the fabric of how the world communicates.”“In today’s business environment, someone lacking not just an understanding but a working knowledge of social media and social networking tools is at a competitive disadvantage. Not preparing our young people – whether in elementary, secondary or post- secondary education environments – to not only have but also excel with these skills means we are failing
More reasons why, in no particular order: Journalism Professor Dave Copeland writes, “There is a growing body of scholarly research suggesting that, when used properly, social media can boost both learning outcomes and student engagement.” [emphasis mine] Charlie Osborne points out that “Gen-Y and younger generations are stereotypically portrayed as being glued to their gadgets and are known for using such devices for social networking, games& entertainment purposes. [You can] use this to your
And some more reasons why: University of Missouri journalism professor Jen Lee Reeves says that using Twitter during class discussions “turns into kind of a live, flowing notebook of what weve discussed in class.” It has the potential to appeal to different learning styles (Differentiated Instruction, people!) Engagement! Engagement!
Social Media: Now with even MORE reasons why! Promote digital citizenship :“It is necessary for them to understand privacy policies and the transfer of data online. By using online platforms, these lessons can be integrated within a more traditional school curriculum.” Social constructivism, an aspect of social learning theory which is supported by research identifying factors leading to college students’ success, says that people learn most effectively when they interact with other learners.
How teachers can use social media successfully &appropriately: Keep professional profiles public. Encourage other teachers, administrators, and parents to use social media, too. Strongly encourage (that is, require) students to use it appropriately for their audience (no curse words, racy pictures, inappropriate updates/retweets/links, etc.). Update profile/sites frequently. Include information that students will want and need to look at. Don’t go overboard with too many sites
How I use blogs:http://eawrenglish.wordpress.com Daily activities & assignments Contact information Helpful links Reading recommendations Important dates/deadlines Display myTwitter feed (more on that later)
How my students use blogs:http://eawrap.wordpress.comhttp://eawrce.wordpress.comhttp://eawrenglish2.wordpress.com Have an audience for their writing Publish research to share with peers Presentations all in one place Can respond to each other’s work
How I use Twitter:https://twitter.com/EAWRenglish Post reminders/announcements Share interesting information/links Ask & answer questions Collect/share assignments Encourage class participation Check progress Communicate with parents Create a learning community outside the classroom
Example Twitter assignment: from Janet Allen’s Plugged In to Reading program
Other ways to use Twitter: Backchanneling: students ask questions or make comments during reading, class discussion, watching films. Conduct scavenger hunts (tweet what you find). Role-playing literature (tweet as a character). Practice concise writing. Get in touch with authors & scholars. Creative writing. Practice writing summaries.
How I use Tumblr:http://eawrenglish.tumblr.com/ Post examples of work Share lengthy info that won’t fit on regular class blog Share extra information that doesn’t fit on regular class blog
Hey, what about Facebook? Some teachers do use Facebook for their classes.
Other social media sites:For online classrooms:WikispacesedmodoedublogsMoodleSchooltownNingBlackboard *
Other social media sites:For class discussion/information sharing:Today’s Meet – to create temporary chat rooms.Storify – to collect online resources, to “curate social media” (here’s an example).Google Docs – for peer editing & group projects.Glogster – a visual network (creative).Evernote – note-taking & organizing.Dropbox – file sharing.Poll Everywhere – instant audience feedback.Library Thing – create an online library catalog.TeacherTube&SchoolTube – video sharing.
It’s not always sunny… Monitor student use. Unfollow or block students who use it inappropriately. Technology gliches. Evil smart phone usage. Stress a procedure for using phones in class. Students who don’t have access.
Please contact me if you have questions!Kelly Gardnerkgardner@eawr.orghttp://eawrenglish.wordpress.com@eawrenglishhttp://eawrenglish.tumblr.com/ This presentation is available on my tumblr page.
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