It’s Social Media Week here at Networked Teaching & Learning. All week long, we’re bringing you resources and ideas for bringing social media into your schools. Today, we focus on some resource links that can help make that happen.
One of the major obstacles for improving social media use in our schools is the lack of information out there about what social media is and what are the tools we can use. Edudemic provides the “Ultimate Teachers Guide to Social Media” in the form of an easy to read and navigate e-book. All the major tools are covered as well as resources for getting the most out of social media in your classroom.
Another obstacle is providing the right argument for social media’s use in our schools. Teach Paperless makes the case using the human voice as a metaphor for social media. How can students learn without their voice? The same can be asked of 21st century learners.
A second argument is made over at Mashable where adman Josh Rose demonstrates how social media is bringing back the old-fashioned values of our grandparents. Because of social media, we know about each other and are part of a more-informed community. That sounds like a great way to build community within a classroom and online.
Some teachers are leery of using social media sites such as Facebook with our private lives suddenly becoming public. Students also need to be aware of this change in society due to the public nature of social media. Mashable has ten suggestions for keeping one’s Facebook account as private as possible.
Of course, Facebook isn’t the only online forum about which we should be concerned. Bobbi L. Newman, a.k.a. Librarian By Day, has a fantastic post on monitoring one’s personal brand. This is is important for both teachers and students. Controlling your online brand can market you as a leader in education or at least eliminate the chances that online content meant to be private becomes very public.
If you’re looking for a tool to manage all this social media (aside from your web browser), look no further than TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows users to monitor multiple accounts on various social networking sites. I use TweetDeck to manage several Twitter accounts, my Facebook account, and several groups and pages also on Facebook. There are several versions of Tweetdeck available for desktops, handheld devices (including smart phones), as well as a Chrome plugin. For an example of how TweetDeck can be used in the classroom, check out this video of a college course where Twitter and TweetDeck are utilized to take classroom conversation to another level.
Hopefully, these links will help you see the value of social media in our schools. What are some ways you are using social media to enhance teaching and learning at your school?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.