Social media is popular among various age groups. Students, 29-somethings, business executives, homemakers, and teachers log into their social media accounts whenever they can. While it started as a social tool, it has now become an integral venue for communication, information, marketing, and publicity. Whenever you have a product or an event to sell, you post it on Facebook or Twitter, and you can instantly generate a lot of views and online attention. You post your campaign on Facebook, and it can easily catch the interest of like-minded individuals and groups. Social media has also been helpful in carrying out election campaigns.
With the way social media has become popular, it is not surprising that a lot of teachers have started using and integrating it into their classroom lessons and activities. While some teachers may frown upon this, there are several benefits – major ones – that both the students and educators can get from using social media in the classroom.
As it is quite a new concept, it is understandable that some teachers have yet to fully understand how to use social media properly in their classes. It’s a continuous learning process. If you are one of those who have not yet tried bringing social media to class, here are five tips that you can follow to make the transformation easier for you and your students.
1. Use social media for teaching your students about documentation.
Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for documentation. Instead of asking your students to submit the usual/traditional written report, ask them to use their social media accounts to document their report. They can take photos and videos to document what they did for their report. All they need to do is create an album on Facebook or post the photos on Instagram using hashtags so they can be easily monitored. Likewise, students can create a blog using WordPress or Tumblr and document their report. It will be like reporting online.
2. Use social media to promote thoughts, ideas, and proper practices.
Divide your class into groups of not more than five students. Each group should then be given a topic, situation, issue, or moral value. Their task is to create an online campaign for whatever is assigned to them. For example, the group tasked to campaign or promote respect for elders can come up with a series of videos showing a dramatization of different situations connected to their campaign. They can then post the videos online – on a blog site they created or on a Facebook page they made. Another example would be a group tasked to make a survey about the importance of technology in education. They can create an online survey (there are social media apps for this) on the topic and run it for several days. At the end of the survey period, they can post the results on their social media page (they have to create one) and submit a video report to you. Lastly, you can also ask one group to use Facebook Live to interview a person or group who is an expert on the issue or situation assigned to them.
3. Ask the class to create an online show or presentation via YouTube.
Let’s say your class is history and your current discussion is about the late President John F. Kennedy. To make the subject more interesting, ask your students to come up with an original show about JFK. They have to choose one aspect of his life to focus on. And they have to post their show on YouTube. For an English class, on the other hand, the video can be a news broadcast.
4. Make a website for the class.
Assign each student with a topic and ask them to come up with at least two write ups about it. Then have them create a website for the class, with each student’s article used as content. This is a good activity lessons and discussions on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Before posting their articles on the website, review each one with the class. If you are not that familiar with blogging yet, there are a lot of tools for blogging made for teachers that you will find online.
5. Make an Instagram Account for the Class
You can use Instagram to document your students and the class’ development and activities. You can post photos of their projects, experiments, activities, and even school excursions. At the end of the school year, you can create a collage of their achievements by posting a photo or several photos. This social media account can also be used to create interesting student portfolios.