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Engaging Students outside the Classroom with Social Media

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A guide to using blogging and other social media sites to engage secondary students outside the classroom.

A guide to using blogging and other social media sites to engage secondary students outside the classroom.

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  • Give some background on who I amHow I started getting into social mediaWhy I think I have been successful - valuable information - a ‘real’ person’ - engage and connect – form relationships with others in the space
  • Social media is becoming an essential part of communication for the generation of students that you are teaching. The internet has always been in existence for them. They grew up playing games on the computer and chatting online. The vast majority of them are on Facebook, and increasingly Instagram, tumblr and twitter, and YouTube is also extremely popular.Facebook – 1 billion monthly active users (1/8th of the world’s population)Tumblr = 150 million usersInstagram = 100 million users (integrated heavily with Facebook, who bought them last year)Twitter = 200 million active usersYouTube = just hit 1 BILLION active monthly users
  • Wordpress currently hosts about 63 million blog worldwide and is by far the most popular blogging platform. Wordpress created a special form of their blogs specifically to use in classrooms.Wordpress just rolled out this version of its popular blogging platform classrooms in February.
  • Blogging is different than other kinds of writing, and I have found this with my own college-age students. They don’t know how to do it. Here are some ideas of what you might want to cover prior to having your students creating blog posts.
  • How many of you are using Pinterest? Anyone using it in the Classroom?There are actually many teachers using Pinterest – it is hard to tell how many are actually using it with their classes because I would suspect many have created “secret boards”. Secret boards allow you to invite users like your students and parents – to view your secret board and to pin on your secret board. The barrier to entry is that they need to have a pinterest account.If you don’t want to use Pinterest with your students, you can create your own boards and pin lessons for ideas, resources, etc. And you can collaborate and share ideas with other teachers.
  • I will share this presentation with all of you so that you have access to all of these resources.
  • To be on google+ you need to have a gmail address and a G+ profile. The profile itself will accept a name like Kelly L. And you don’t have to provide any further information or a photo.Communities can be closed, and when you are the creator of a community, you send invitations via people’s gmail addresses. Only those people can see what is going on within the community and that information appears nowhere else. Lets take a look at what a community looks like.
  • Facebook groups are another option. The best part about these groups is that most students are already on Facebook, so there isn’t a need to join anything or give out any more information. Let’s take a look at what these groups have to offer.


  • 1. This is me on social media How did I get here?
  • 2. What we’ll coverWhy social media?What to consider when selecting toolsTools to consider:  Wordpress.com  Pinterest  Google+ Communities  Facebook Groups
  • 3. Why engage your students via social media?They are ‘digital natives’It is ‘engaging’ and can help build community.They can make connections and utilize resources well beyond the classroom walls.This is their future.
  • 4. Things that may concern youLegal concerns – what are the rules of CIPA and your school?Privacy concerns – how will you protect the identity of yourstudents?Accessibility concerns – how will you ensure that allstudents have access to the same resources?Lack of knowledge/training – how will you learn how toutilize these tools properly?
  • 5. What to consider when choosing a social networking platform Are there dedicated versions for teachers & students/classrooms? Are there ways to limit accessibility to just the classroom members or others you want to include? What is the barrier to entry? Where are your students already online? Accessibility for those with disabilities
  • 6. Blogging with Wordpress
  • 7. Blogging GuidelinesShould be created as a Page on your blog  Can be similar to classroom conduct rules  Should lay out how to identify yourself, ie only first name and last initial.Tell what is NOT allowed. Personal identifying information Inappropriate language, etc.Make them simple and enforce consistently. Link to my class blog on Wordpress.
  • 8. What to teach before blogging0 General Internet Safety0 Commenting0 Writing for the web: 0 How to include hyperlinks (rather than footnotes) 0 Creating good headlines, section headings 0 Choosing photos that are not copyright restricted 0 Creative Commons0 HTML – if you know a little code, it goes a long way Link to the iSchool blog.
  • 9. Pinterest in the Classroom
  • 10. Use Pinterest to createvisual Pinboards foreach of your subjectsor units. Here are avariety of ways to usePinterest.
  • 11. Google+ waslaunched in June2011 and Google+communities wereadded in December2012. Here is a look at an open community called Teachers Helping Teachers.
  • 12. Facebook GroupsHere is a closed group I run for my bloggers.
  • 13. Questions?Connect with me:kalux@syr.eduLinkedin.com/in/kellylux@kellylux