Social media is becoming an increasingly important facet of society. From dissemination of news to basic communication between people, social media has come to be an integral part of many people’s lives. Teachers can take advantage of this fact and structure social media into their curriculum to increase learning and teach material from a new direction. This is a guide that will help you to integrate social media into your educational plans and curriculum.
1. Set up social media accounts where students can interact with faculty and each other
One of the benefits of social media is the ability to communicate instantaneously over distances with multiple people. You can harness this benefit to create a 24/7 online classroom that you and your students can access. You can use this online classroom to receive and answer student questions regarding class materials. This space can also be used for students to discuss ideas and concepts among themselves.
The social media space will serve as a record of student and teacher communication and will allow students to more effectively ask for and receive help from their classmates and teacher. You can also use this social media space as a place for updates regarding your class, such as homework assignments, upcoming tests, and links to study materials. A Facebook page or Twitter account can be a valuable asset and will also allow students to follow the course using a medium that they are accustomed to using.
2. Use social media apps to facilitate learning and studying
There are a number of apps for services, like Facebook and Myspace, that allow you to help with your student’s educational experience. An example of such an app would be a flash card making service on Facebook or a study guide for a book exam posted on Myspace. There are numerous apps on social media sites, as well as app stores for smartphones, and teachers can take advantage of these applications to help increase learning inside and outside of the classroom. For example, if students are looking to learn to play music outside of the classroom there’s a website to help them find a teacher & set up lessons.
3. Use social media to connect students to other classrooms around the world
One of the great benefits of social media is the fact that you can communicate across the globe in seconds. You can use social media to have your students interact with students all over the world in a controlled and safe environment.
After making arrangements with other schools and teachers, you can use social media to supplement your lesson plan by giving students real access to global ideas and cultures. For example, a Spanish teacher may be able to set up one-on-one Skype chats with students in Spanish speaking countries, who are studying English. This provides a benefit to both groups of students and helps to facilitate learning by the use of social media.
Also read: How To Utilize Social Media in Education (INFOGRAPHIC)
4. Use social media to find relevant classroom content
Social media services, like Facebook and Youtube, have millions of hours of content at any given time. Obviously some of this content is garbage, but there is also a great deal of content that is worthy of classroom study. You can search these services to find videos, articles, or other media that students can relate to and that capture the essence of the curriculum.
A good example would be during an American History class – finding a series of videos pertaining to important events in American history that could give students greater insight into those events and help bring them to life. You can also use classroom content that you find on social media to supplement places in your existing curriculum that may have holes. Even if you do not have the time in class to examine these materials, creating a repository for students to go to when curious can have a beneficial effect.
5. Use social media to collaborate with your educational peers
While students have a great deal to learn using social media techniques do not forget that we are all students at heart. Teachers too can improve their teaching abilities, style, and curriculum, and social media is a great place for teachers, all across the globe, to collaborate and share ideas.
There are many groups on Facebook and other social media sites strictly dedicated to teacher collaboration, and you should take advantage of these groups in order to craft the best lesson plan for your students. You may be able to find more effective ways to teach your required curriculum by using social media.
6. Build social media connections between students and educational institutions
Many universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning have a presence in the social media space. As a teacher, you can use your position to help your students communicate with these institutions. This may benefit your students in a number of ways.
Having a clear line of communication will help your students to know what is expected of them, if they wish to attend certain educational institutions. Your students will also be able to study and examine their choice of school in real time to see if it is the right fit for them. Linking up students and universities using the power of social media can help students to craft and attain future goals.