By Teachers, For Teachers
Social media technology in the classroom sites like Facebook and Twitter have been a prevalent part of our society for some time now, and it’s no secret that they are here to stay. While some teachers may frown upon using social media technology in the classroom, others say that it can actually be useful for educational purposes. Here are a few reasons why teachers like to use social media technology in the classroom.
Social media has the ability to increase knowledge in a matter of minutes. By simply scrolling through your newsfeed, you can get updates on the latest current events and news. You can also easily search for relevant information by using hashtag #news. The ability to get timely updates is what makes social media so great. Many teachers have found that using social media sites in the classroom is an effective and quick way for their students to increase their knowledge about current events. As long as you set some boundaries, and show your students what it can and cannot be used for in the classroom, it can be an effective way to increase knowledge.
Social media has the ability to keep parents, teachers, and students on the same page about what’s going on in the classroom. Teachers can easily post homework assignments, upcoming project dates, and school event information to their social media page. Long gone are the days where you have to sit and wait by the phone to get a reply. Teachers love social media because you can easily communicate with parents and students in an instant. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to instantly provide feedback, ask a question, comment, or private message someone.
Social media sites can be useful for students to get help from their peers or other relevant experts. If a student has a question about their homework assignment, all they have to do is post their question and ask for help. Students can also ask an expert by tweeting or posting to a Facebook page. Social media also gives students the ability to private message the teacher or post a specific question to the teacher on their wall. When students do that, other classmates can see the question posted on the wall, and chime in which is a great way to get the discussion started and get feedback from one another.
One of the great things about using social media in education is that it encourages students to participate, especially for those shy students who don’t like to verbally talk in class. Social media can help make these types of students more confident in speaking their opinions so that when they are in the classroom they will feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Social media also makes it quite easy for students to collaborate with one another. Students can work on school projects or group assignments from home and easily contact one another via social media to work on their task.
Every social media site has different features that can help their users to do different things. For example, Twitter and Instagram are known for using hashtags. When students are using these sites and want to search for something specific, all they have to do is use a hashtag. For instance, if students were working on a project about Rosa Parks, they can use the hashtag #Rosaparks to find out specific information about her. Facebook has what they call “Groups” or “Pages” where you can join or like to find out more information for your project. These unique features are what makes social media so much fun and engaging for students.
If you are still on the fence about whether or not you want to introduce social media into your classroom then you have to think about it like this. Technology is here to stay, and you can either embrace it or not. As long as you set up filters that prevent students from posting or looking at profanity, then you can embrace the positive aspects that social media has to offer your students.
What’s your take on social media technology in the classroom? Are you for it or against it? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to heart your take on this controversial topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds masters of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.