I am still reflecting on my interview from last night; therefore, I wanted to provide a few resources I have collected with examples of how to use social media in the classroom. These are only a few ideas and range in depth, so as to provide a variety of schools with options that fit their comfort level.
One of my greatest resources is Vicki Davis, otherwise known as “Cool Cat Teacher.” You can find her blog here: http://www.coolcatteacher.com. I use her website for ideas and inspiration on using social media in the classroom in new ways. I also follow her on Twitter at @coolcatteacher, which is where I came across this following article. Though I primarily focus on Twitter when describing social media in the classroom, this article provides 22 examples of how to use social media in the classroom such as Pinterest and Blogger as well as Facebook and Twitter. Check it out at http://www.teachthought.com/technology/22-simple-examples-of-social-media-in-the-classroom/!
For administrators and teachers worried about the legacy their students will leave on social media networking sites, here is a great article on how to avoid students’ demise. These are simple tips that are easy to understand by all: If you don’t want someone to judge you for it now, in ten minutes, or in ten years, don’t put it on a social media site. This article is titled “Keeping Your Reputation Out of the Jaws of Social Media” and is a great resource to utilize if you are concerned about how you represent yourself (or your students) on social media. http://adage.com/article/small-agency-diary/keeping-reputation-jaws-social-media/243716/
In case some of you still need a bit of convincing, here is an article from Teq titled “11 Things We Learned About Social Media in the Classroom.” I acknowledge that my school does not utilize social media as much as I am pushing for, so I collect as many resources as I can from schools, teachers, and students who have successfully integrated it into their lesson plans. Aren’t you curious to see what they have learned? Check out the article here: http://www.teq.com/blog/2013/10/11-things-learned-social-media-classroom/#.UnuqqaWE71q
In conclusion of today’s post, I will end with another resource I found on Twitter. I try to highlight this fact as often as possible, as it is my goal to persuade others to utilize social media and technology in their daily lives. The greatest point I can make about this is that without social media/technology (I’ve tended to group them together more and more frequently), I would not have access to the many great articles, collaboration, and sources of inspiration that I do with it. Right now, if we didn’t have social media, my audience would have no idea what my social media education mission is because it wouldn’t exist. I would still be sitting in a typical classroom wondering when and where I will ever use what I am learning in my future. Our education system is set on throwing information at students and making them memorize it for a test, a final, an SAT. And then what? It gets thrown away as we try to compartmentalize more needless information after the school year.
I was asked last night on Teachers Teaching Teachers what the education system would look like with social media and I don’t believe I gave a thorough answer in my spotlighted time. So here it is: The education system will be revamped to focus more on the individual student’s needs, interests, and passions. Not everyone needs to learn and be passionate about the same thing. They just need to be exposed to it. I am one lucky student involved in a class that I am given that freedom, along with sixteen other students. Seventeen students out of a high school of 1,600.
The modernized education system will provide all students the same opportunities to connect with outside resources in a variety of genres. It is what the individual student does with the freedom and opportunities that truly makes a difference. I acknowledge not every student will extract as much as they can from the opportunities they are given, that is a fact known to all in the workforce and is applicable to students from fifth grade on. Just because all students are given the same opportunities doesn’t mean they will all make the same effort or take the same strides to further their career.
This fact does not change my mission or discourage me. The students that are meant to hear my message will, and that is all I need as support for my mission.
As I wrap up this post, check out the article http://www.jeffdelp.com/2013/10/21/3488/. Recognize how important technology and social media is in the education system. As I stated last night, the movement from desks and books to circles designed for discussion and social media networking sites is inevitable. Just how quickly are you willing to jump onto the train?