How to use Social Media Tools for Learning?

By: Admin 30 June, 2017

We are fortunate to live in a world where resources are not limited to what we study in the classroom, or from books we can find in the school library. Recall the old times where communication was only through letters on pen and paper. Now we a variety of options available, thanks to the internet. When we talk about learning, the world now is a much better place to live in.

 

Even in schools, teachers and students need to adapt to this modern world and the opportunities it has to offer. We don’t need to give up on the traditional methods, but incorporating new styles and modes of learning in our old ways can definitely be beneficial for the students.



 

 

Using Social Media Tools

For example, almost everyone in the world has a presence on social media platforms. For educators differentiating instruction, social media tools embrace collaboration and global access to people and other resources.

 

Differentiating with social media is most effective when we plan learning experiences based on content, process, and product (our lesson structure) and incorporate readiness, interests, and learning profiles (student voice). The following guidelines can help any classroom teacher ensure that the tool used will address students' needs:

  1. Be clear about the academic learning outcomes.

  2. Assess what students know and don't know.

  3. Identify related student background connections.

  4. Utilize social networks that can:

    • Address needs for struggling learners

    • Ensure that advanced learners are growing.

    • Connect content to authentic purposes in the world beyond school.

  5. Use assessments to track learner progress.

 

Readiness

Readiness focuses on a student's current academic skill level. Work is structured to help them address any gaps or needs for enrichment.

 

Consider the following tools:

  • Kaizena provides a space where students get feedback for revising their work.

  • Weebly, Kidblog, WordPress, etc. are tools that you can use for creating activities where students can work based on their skill support needs.

  • Survey Monkey, Poll Everywhere, and Google Forms are just some of the many online survey tools for capturing pre- and formative assessment of students' progress. These can also be used for getting student feedback when needed.

 

Interests

Allowing students to work on the option that appeals the most to them is crucial. Any concept in which the learner has a great interest in can help turn abstract idea into a definite purpose. For example, a student can create a blog of series about a holiday they had. Or, a student who might be interested in gaming can create a personal gaming channel.

 

These interests might be frowned upon by many parents, but if they are genuine, let them prosper. Here are some tools to help focus on student interests:

 

  • Youtube: There are many videos that address content from different perspectives, including the one way that a particular student or teacher needs to see it.

  • Screencastify, Jing, and Snagit are tools that enable students to capture video of their screen. This allows students to capture their work for uploads, or school presentations.

 

In the past, limited access placed a hardship on teachers to meet the diverse needs of their students, especially when school resources were limited. But in this new world there are endless possibilities to learn and evolve. It is necessary for us to take advantage of the tools available to us.

 

The article has been inspired by and contains excerpts from Edutopia. Read the original article here.