Category Archives: social media

How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School | Edutopia

How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School | Edutopia

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28 Creative Ways Teachers Are Using Twitter (with their Twibe members)

28 Creative Ways Teachers Are Using Twitter – Best Colleges Online

Click the link above to see the list from the original source or continue reading below for the full article.  Once you’re finished, how about sharing a comment with how YOU use Twitter in your class.

1.Instant feedback: ReadWriteWeb and Mashable both featured Monica Rankin, a history professor at University of Dallas, and discussed how she utilizes Twitter to gather real-time feedback. Students send questions and input to the microblog, which end up projected right there during lectures; Rankin encourages them to study one another’s insights.

2.Answering questions: In a similar strategy to the aforementioned information gathering, some educators streamline the process by allowing students to answer questions via Twitter rather than raising their hands. This greatly aids studying, too, as they can easily refer back via dedicated classroom hashtags.

3.Enabling discussion outside of class: University of Texas emerging media professor David Parry also talked Twitter with Mashable, lauding the ubiquitous microblog as an excellent way for his students to continue class discussions after they’ve already ended. And they frequently do!

4.Announcements: Rather than sending out a mass e-mail, many education professionals find it far easier to tweet changes, cancellations and other important announcements. Definitely avoids the dreaded spam filter that oftentimes prevents students from receiving time-sensitive messages.

5.Notifications about completed assignments: Conversely, many students use Twitter now to alert their teachers about when they’ve finished their work. This strategy works especially well for online courses or classrooms taking advantage of internet-based technologies.

6.TwitLit: The 140-character limit offers a nice little challenge for students, and innovative educators and authors like have taken notice. Whether writing poetry, short stories or something else entirely, the site’s unique structure offers up some excellent ways to stimulate creativity.

7.Word, trend or hashtag tracking: Staying on top of what people are talking about opens up users to an incredibly broad spectrum of perspectives. Requiring subscriptions to specific, relevant words, hashtags or trends is a simple (and free!) way to provide such a window into the world.

8.Follow conferences: Some educators may want their students to follow certain professionals and keep track of the various happenings at relevant industry conferences. The more active feeds might even provide links to streaming video or audio!

9.Communicate with professionals: Instead of asking students to merely follow industry insiders, ask them to actually tweet a response and open a discussion — or at least try to, anyways. For high schoolers and the college crowd, this assignment might very well help them discover some personal career goals.

10.Taking notes: Similar to the example about facilitating extracurricular discussion, Twitter also provides a quick way for students and teachers alike to take notes. Keeping everyone organized in a list makes it easier than ever to supplement (not replace) reviews for tests, quizzes and assignments.

11.Share a story: Put a social media twist on an old classroom favorite by asking students to play some fun story-go-round games on the famous microblogging site. The first tweets a sentence, the next builds off of it and so forth; try assigning a hashtag to make reading everything faster.

12.Map trends: Combine social media and geotracking with Twittermap, which allows users a chance to plug in and track what people are talking about where. For sociology and marketing students, such technology helps them better understand demographic needs and wants.

13.Keep parents informed: When teaching the younger set, parents may like to follow along with what’s going on in their children’s day. Keep a Twitter feed updating them about the different lessons and activities as they happen for greater engagement between the home and the classroom.

14.Play a geography game: Ask eager and willing tweeps to give their location, and put together a project mapping out where in the world they share. For kids just learning about distance, this makes for a lovely way to get them to know more about where everything is in relation to their own cities and towns.

15.Set up a poll: Teachers might want to set up a Twitter poll for either their students or the broader microblogging community. The applications are limited only by one’s own creativity; for an added bonus, combine the poll with some sort of geotracker.

16.______ of the day: No matter the class, a vocabulary word, book, song, quote or something else “of the day” might very well make an excellent supplement to the day’s lesson. When teaching younger kids, tell their parents about the Twitter feed and encourage them to talk about postings at home.

17.Start a book club: Within the industry but outside the classroom, some educations band together via Twitter and host their own book clubs. A common hashtag and communicative network is all it takes to share insight and recommendations.

18.Follow politicians: Well…ones that won’t “treat” the class to a faceful of wiener, anyways. All the same, though, following them on Twitter provides students with a quick glance at the lives and opinions of people shaping their countries for good or for ill.

19.Keep up with current events: Similarly, educators can set up lists with different news sources, allowing their students to stay on top of current events. Separate them by field for quicker access and even more comprehensive organization.

20.Capsule reviews: Challenge kids (and adults!) alike to write up reviews for books, films and other materials consumed in class. The 140-character limit teaches them how to remain concise while getting their main points across — and educates their followers in turn.

21.Communication between classes: Beyond facilitating communication within the course itself, teachers may like the idea of connecting with similar ones in other cities, states or even countries. Set up a communal hastag for students and professionals alike to use and exchange their views and lessons.

22.Host a Twitter scavenger hunt: For fun and education, get students moving and organize a sort of Twitter scavenger hunts — maybe even see if other classrooms or professionals want to get involved. As with many of the projects listed here, such an activity can easily be applied to a wide number of grade levels and academic subjects.

23.Fun with historical figures: Some instructors ask class participants to set up feeds roleplaying as significant figures in history, approaching microblog technology “in character.” Although one could easily incorporate scientists, artists, literary characters and plenty more into the fold as well.

24.Start a meme: Memes actually existed long before the internet, but the virtual world certainly played a major role in bringing the phenomenon to public attention. Anyone studying communications, sociology and psychology can certainly benefit quite a bit from tracking or creating their own examples.

25.Supplement foreign language lessons: Twitter’s unique spacing limitations make for an interesting way to nurture foreign language acquisition. Tweet a sentence in a foreign language at the beginning of the day or class and ask students to either translate or respond in kind as a quick, relatively painless supplement.

26.Review: Nursery school teacher Ana Dominguez of Colegio de Alfragide likes using the popular microblogging tool to review the day’s activities and inform them of anything interesting other tweeps have to say. Not only does it help them reflect on their lessons and their world, but it also serves as a nice, guided introduction to social media.

27.Help students get their names out: College professors hoping to nurture the professional future of their juniors and seniors might like the idea of teaching them the role of social media in job hunting. Business students into the whole “personal branding” fad will particularly benefit from comprehensively exploring such things.

28.Create a twibe: Build networks beyond Twitter itself and set up (or have students set up) a twibe, bringing together other classrooms or professionals. These networks not only serve to broaden one’s perspective, but offer an interesting lesson in how online communities come together, sustain themselves or fall apart.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media

Check out this article and then leave a comment with your own beliefs…what say you?

Using Social Media in Schools

Ten Ways Schools Are Using Social Media Effectively

Readers discuss how they use social networking in their schools, list helpful resources
October 21st, 2011
By Meris Stansbury, Online Editor
ESchool News
Smart phones might be getting the green light in more schools around the country, but social networking is still getting the yellow in many schools: Parents are worried about bullying, teacher-student online relationships are questioned, and school security can be compromised all too easily, some critics fear.

To understand how social media, an almost integral part of our current culture, can benefit K-12 schools and districts, we asked eSchool News readers: “Name one way you use social networking in your school/district. Or, if you can’t/don’t currently use social networking, how would you like to?”

From professional development to providing real-world examples of mathematics, readers say it’s time to make the best of what can be a valuable resource for education. Here are some of the top ways they’re using social networking in their schools.

How have social media enhanced your own district, school, or classroom environment? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

10. Professional development

“In my professional role, I’ve become very quickly reliant on Twitter and Facebook to inform me of trends and Web 2.0 tools I should be considering using with students/sharing with staff. For the most part, social networking is blocked in our district, and it’s frustrating to not have access to ed-tech blogs I’d like to check with on school time.” —Marcia Dressel, K-5 librarian, Osceola, Wis.

9. Community outreach
“At my school we use it to promote various activities, gain feedback, or start a conversation for something, and sometimes [for] recognition of a particular group, teacher, etc. We never use full names for students or tag them in photos. … I think it is a great tool for connecting with our parents who are already participating in social media.” —Shannon Bosley
8. Course assignments

“We have some teachers using schoology.com to leverage social networking features in the classroom. With Schoology, we can create a private social network focused around course curriculum. Teachers can post assignments and create online assessments as well. The site is free to use, is intuitive, and works well.” —Brian C. Dvorak, technology TSA, curriculum and professional learning, school support services, Fresno Unified School District

7. Parent communication

6. Distance learning

“We use social media in two distinct ways: (1) As a communication tool between the district and parents. We are a small district, but over one-third of our families ‘like’ our Facebook page. This gives us a great tool to communicate pretty quickly with a good portion of our parents. (2) For classroom use—a teacher who taught a distance-ed class for our school and three others set up a Facebook page to foster communication between the remote students and the students she taught physically.” —George Sorrells, technology facilitator, Winneconne Community School District

5. Assessments

“I use Twitter to do an end-of-the-unit review. I tweet various topics, people, and dates for AP U.S. History.” —Ann Wright, assistant principal, Archbishop O’Hara High School, Kansas City

4. Cross-cultural communication and language learning

“A few years ago, when I used to work in … a Greek private elementary school, we cooperated with several schools from foreign countries, such as Holland, England, France, and Sweden, and used social networking in order to communicate with each other and break down the distance and language barrier. We used English as a means of the aforementioned communication and completed several activities such as writing chain stories and letters offering personal information in English, and arranged to meet in person with our students once a year in a different host country. This activity materialized with the great contribution of the internet, as it was our only means of contact. It has been a great experience and assisted young students in [becoming] communicative and confident in using English, as well as the internet, in [performing] hands-on-activities.” —E. Mantzana

3. Collaborative learning

“Our district is using the paid version of Gaggle.net this year with the middle school and high school students and teachers. This online social media [platform] includes a social wall, very similar to Facebook, along with an eMail account, a digital online locker, blogging, … [and] many other available items. One of the main reasons we went with this medium is because of the tight security it offers our students, by using filters for slang words, curse words, hate words, porn, and more. It is a medium to teach the students how to use social media in a professional manner to help prepare them for the marketplace upon employment. The students enjoy having the social aspect of it, and the teachers are appreciative of the means to acceptably and safely contact the students. Also, the teachers can upload assignments into a specific drop box that only their students can see, where the students complete the assignment and submit it back to the teacher, totally without the need for printing anything.

“The teachers are also very appreciative of having access to YouTube through Gaggle, with the filters that are in place—they can show just about any education video without being blocked. Because it is a cloud-based program, anyone can get to their account anywhere there is internet [access], so students can access their social wall at home, as well as their homework assignments. Files can be uploaded to their digital locker and shared and worked on collaboratively, so the need to be in the same room together at all times is eliminated. As teachers create “classes” within the program, it concurrently creates a class social wall for the students enrolled in that class, where they can talk with each other, post pics, message each other, and more. So far, it has been a very positive experience for all our users.” —LeAnn Waldie, instructional technology specialist, Godley Independent School District, Texas

2. Networking with colleagues

“Our college is located in Queensland, Australia, and we are fortunate to have a one-to-one [computing] program for our students from year 4 to year 12 and for all of our staff. The power of the Personal Learning Network that our staff tap into would be impossible without the global interactions and connections our teachers have made through social networking tools. We encourage our staff to be at least active ‘followers’ on Twitter–and have established valuable networks for our teaching teams. In a recent Modern Foreign Language Teachers’ workshop, one of our team sent out a tweet inviting practitioners to share their expertise. We were amazed at the response we received, and without as so much as a blink of the eye–we switched into Skype mode and there was a ‘new’ face in our workshop–sharing their ideas and success stories from the U.K. We have just finished our review of our Strategic Plan, and we have indicated as one of our goals for 2012–the expansion of Personal Learning Networks for all of our staff harnessing the power of social networking.” —Jan MacNamara

1. Integrating real-world applications into teaching

“Social networking is an excellent real-world example of discrete mathematics. Students can post a joke and then track the vertex edge graph that results. The graph can be used to make inferences about popularity, outgoing personalities, and levels of friendship. Tracking the joke as a tree may also allow you to make inferences about natural communities, cliques. This document is one way we have used social networks to make mathematics meaningful.” —Mary Hosten