I am of the opinion that there are many advantages to implementing social media into the classroom activities and curricula, but I am hearing more and more teachers bemoan the intrusion of hardware/software into their teaching space. For those of you who are actively involved in using social media, tell us how you are implementing it successfully and/or prefering not to use it.
I have a teacher in WV that is modeling it perfectly.
Ms. McCoy mariemccoy's Profile | Thinkfinity sets up a group for each of her classes.
Questions, assignments, due dates, etc. from the classroom are posted in the discussion area.
Outcomes are amazing:
1) When she asks a question verbally many students stare at their shoes. However the same question asked electronically with engender greater response.
2) When the level of discourse or the quality of the grammar is low, she invites the language arts teachers into the discussion. They can then help the students express themselves in a more sophisticated manner.
3) When the semester switches, the new students can simply join the existing group and build on the work of the previous class.
4) Class work happens anytime, anywhere via the Thinkfinity apps.
5) Three students, A, B and C respond to a question. The teacher gives an "atta boy" reply to students A and B but is silent on student C's work. Student C can instantly see what the teacher is looking for by reviewing A and B's work. Student C posts a new reply with a more rigorous answer.
I think the success of social media use in a K-12 classroom depends primarily on the teacher's interaction with each student, focusing them on their personal learning...but isn't that true of face2face interactions in the same classroom. A good teacher can make either work. I have watched Ms. McCoy's group grow in engagement and am very impressed with what I see happening in her online classroom.
Of greater concern seems to be the higher ed students' use of social media. Some college students say they can't go 10 minutes without checking to see if they have missed a message. Does this refer to all college students or those who have an addictive personality. The research isn't clear. Included in the data regarding use the use of social media by college students is all twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, and video/tv viewing, The number I remember is some college students spend 12 hours per day using social media. When do they have time to go to class and socialize face2face?
I think that those K-12 teachers who venture into the use of social media in their classroom are innovators and are teaching a skill that will carry over to higher ed and life long learners...eventually.
Kudos to Ms. McCoy.
Thank you Jane and Mark for the thoughtful response. It appears to me that Mrs. McCoy's approach to utilizing social media centers around a concrete organizational pattern which she creates and controls. That makes a lot of sense, but then I'm back to the question concerning "buy-in" from other teachers. Wouldn't a face-to-face modeling session be advantageous to get some of the hesitant or reluctant staff onboard? I'm sure you provide all of that Mark for your WVA teachers, but so many other situations I'm witnessing just leads more to a topsy-turvey kind of involvement. Perhaps even a well-done modeling video uploaded into a Webinar session would boost K-12 participation in social media usage.
So far, the use of social media is extremely spotty on the college level. I'm trying to develop some kind of an organizational plan that would be effective there. My next question for discussion will involve the hybrid-classes. I'm thinking there is a strong correlation between my question about social media and the hybrid at all levels of instruction.
I look forward to both of your remarks on that topic.
Well, while I have the attention of two active proponents (Mark and Karen) of using social media at the K-12 and at the higher ed levels, respectively, consider creating that video modeling good delivery and/or blogging in the Community Hub with your ideas as Verizon Education Bloggers.