by Katherine Reilly
Gone are the days when we used to write on the board with chalk, or had to carry cassette players with us in class. Bringing a television with a VHS Player once or twice during the school year (yes, I’ve experienced that) was our only ‘exposure’ to any source of visual material. How things have changed…
Education has made huge leaps the past decade, all thanks to the outburst of Social Media. Many teachers are hesitant to incorporate the benefits of this powerful medium in class, as Social Media is often associated with many negative factors such as distractions, lack of face to face interaction and so much more. However, if used wisely, a teacher now has the most powerful tool in his hands, one which can boost a student’s learning experience to a whole new level.
You might be wondering now, how do I use Social Media so as to benefit my students. Here are some suggestions which can be effectively put into good use:
Create a Chat Group. By creating a chat group for your students and adding yourself to it, you create a hub for exchanging ideas. Be it a project, yesterday’s lesson, or the simple exchange of notes, you are in essence, promoting peer collaborative learning.
Distance Learning. What if I’m ill or for whatever reason can’t attend class? Social Media has got this covered. Whether it’s sharing material from last lesson or the need to chat with a fellow classmate or your teacher online, you won’t lag behind and will keep up with the lesson. Distance Learning has literally brought down the barriers to learning, as individuals with physical disabilities now have a chance to shine since they are now given the means to acquire what is everyone’s personal prerogative… ‘education’.
‘Find and Flip’. I’ve mentioned this before in a previous article and I’ll mention it again. TED-Ed allows you to share your lesson online. Notes, lesson plans, videos, you name it! This method, called ‘flipping’ allows you to share your lesson with your students or any students around the world for that matter. The benefits are numerous and Teachers should definitely check out its potential. ed.ted.com/lessons
Learning Management Systems. There are Learning management systems such as Moodle and Blackboard which have become increasingly popular in universities. Their purpose is the distribution of lecture notes and other course information, as a portal for students to upload assignments and check them for plagiarism, and as a chat forum where students can communicate with their lecturers and with each other.
Technology is developing at an insane pace. Those who reject it for the wrong reasons are doomed to stay in the shadows. Why not reap the benefits of this magnificent tool and further promote the learning experience of our children? It’s not an option, but our responsibility towards the younger generation of learners.
Happy Social Media Teaching Everyone!