Top 5 Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom
- Dec 04, 2014
Do your kids often complain about boring History lessons at school? And, have you recently noticed your children losing interest in academics? Blame it on the traditional educational practices which are prevalent even today! My heart goes out to the teenagers, who, cramped together in a classroom are compelled to absorb the basics of ‘marginal utility’ – in an agonizing classroom session. I bet, most of these students are pretending to understand whatever the teacher scribbles on the blackboard, while others are trying hard to stifle a yawn.
Now, just imagine a classroom which is brought alive by attractive video demonstrations on YouTube, or interesting images being shown to students through Pinterest. Yes, you heard it right. Today, social media has taken the world by storm. So there is no reason to underestimate the immense potential of social media in education. Have you wondered how interesting learning would be if some of the most popular social networking sites could be introduced in schools?
Currently, a large number of educational institutes across the world are experimenting with such a trend. So let us explore how the various platforms of social media can prove to be powerful tools of imparting knowledge to modern-day students:
- Twitter: Twitter is the most innovative forum of social media, which can be a significant contributor to classroom education. Applications like ‘Hootsuite’ or ‘Tweetdeck’ can come to the rescue of teachers. To know about the latest academic topics, just search in these apps, using a ‘hashtag’ (#) symbol before the word you type. For instance, you can type #edchat if you are seeking general education-related subjects. Hashtags must also be utilized for initiating group discussions.
Students must be asked to share their queries or comments here. Teachers must make sure their official Twitter page contains the name of the institutions they belong to and courses offered by them.
- YouTube: Teachers, how about educating millions of students by a single lecture? Yes, this is indeed possible today, thanks to YouTube. That’s simply because of the fact that videos of classroom lessons are more exciting to students than hearing the same lectures in person! How? Well, you can pause the video and rewind it several times, if you have failed to grasp the meaning of a particular sentence of the lecture. You can keep repeating the process, till you have finally been able to understand it. You can even pause the YouTube video, while you go for a quick break. This would never be possible in a real classroom.
Moreover, just at the click of a mouse, innumerable students can gain access to lectures. Teachers can also register themselves for ‘YouTube for Schools’ which grants free access to people and is very useful in classroom teaching.
- Pinterest: Another thrilling technique of imparting education is ‘Pinterest’. Teachers can share thousands of videos, photographs and links in attractive ‘boards’ in this platform. Similarly, students too would be able to share information with their teachers, in a smarter way. New videos or images can be searched here which might be crucial for lessons. Pinterest can also assist teachers by inspiring students to establish their boards which would focus on their educational projects. Teachers can also suggest new reference books to students, with the aide of Pinterest.
- Facebook: Not all students are present inside a classroom, always. If a class contains 70 students, at least two or three would be absent on account of illness or other reasons. In such cases, it is challenging for teachers to repeat the same chapters which have been taught – for the benefit of the pupils who were missing in the last session. Facebook lets you deal with this issue. Teachers can just summarize the main points of the lesson and post it in the official Facebook pages or groups belonging to the organization. Students visiting the groups would be able to collect the essential details and even post their queries regarding the same in the ‘comment’ section.
- Instagram: Instagram is an intelligent social media platform which can be utilized by teachers to share their lessons with students through images. The pictures posted here can also contain relevant information in 140-characters. You can encourage your students to give clever captions to photographs and nurture their creativity. So, Instagram can definitely spice up an otherwise-boring classroom lecture in minutes!
I hope these practical tips on how to implement social media in classroom teaching motivate you enough to employ it in your school. Trust me, you would feel the difference, and students would love you! Technology is offering you a helping hand to you dear teachers, why not exploit it to produce some excellent students?
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