Social Media Tools In The Classroom
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SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE IN THE CLASSROOM
Social media usage in the classroom used to be frowned upon, but as it has become more integrated into our daily lives, professors and students are finding ways to embrace it instead. Here is a list of five social media networks that students and professors can leverage for engaging educational experiences:
1. Twitter: Apart from capitalizing on the current moment and making the most of ongoing trends, Twitter allows students to be conversation starters and project their voice further than they would be able to in a traditional email or forum posting. For universities that host classes with hundreds of students, Twitter enables the professor to form a connection with his or her students and engage with them directly through a more relatable, tech-savvy medium.
2. Google Apps for Education: Google Hangouts is more than just a tool to communicate with other individuals. It has the power to facilitate collaboration within the classroom and with people across the globe. Google Classroom allows educators to organize assignments and class schedules with ease, while Google Documents removes the location barrier for collaboration and sharing of work between students themselves.
3. Facebook: What better way to engage students than through the most popular social media platform? The most obvious benefit of using Facebook in the educational workspace is that it allows for seamless integration between personal and work life, making the interface and setting more user-friendly. Facebook Groups allow members to post files, ask questions and even send regular posts as announcements. It allows both the professor and students to continue the conversation outside of the scheduled class time.
4. Tumblr & WordPress: Tumblr and WordPress are online blogging tools that, more often than not, inspire creativity and openness. Professors today choose to conduct group forums and make class announcements via blogs where students’ work and assignments are submitted for peer review. Students form a community that is later leveraged to share information and form discussion boards that go beyond a typical classroom discussion.
5. YouTube: While it has made a name for itself with music videos (and more recently cat-themed videos), YouTube serves as a great example of what flipped classrooms could use to stay with students long after class is over. Professors choose to upload their lectures on the platform for later viewing, engaging students through comments and building discussions right from the video-hosting platform.
Social media is not a new concept or trend; its applications continue to be limitless, and its ability to bolster productivity is incomparable. As more and more educators uncover new ways to utilize existing social media, we will see a definite increase in student engagement and improved educational experiences.
How can social media be leveraged across all industries? Join us at Social Media Week Chicago and find out!
Written by Parichay Swarup, student at the University of Illinois.
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