Sunday, September 16, 2012

Use Format of Social Media to Tap Student Creativity!

Students use social media sites all the time so why not tap that knowledge to use it as another instructional vehicle with which students can demonstrate their knowledge of key content in any discipline. Though English will be used as the example here of how to use the site, this tool can be used in ANY subject area.

Class Tools has a feature entitled FAKEBOOK (NO connection to FACEBOOK in any way).  If teaching a novel in English, students could create FAKEBOOK profiles for characters as an assessment.  With FAKEBOOK, they could include key comments on the character, video, photos, interesting links which add further insight into a character, etc.  Students might also chart the plot of a book using this tool.  For even more fun, how about having students create "debates" between two characters or more.  They might also study key relationships among characters by including key events in the story in comments section for example.  All subject areas could use this tool with ease.  Most importantly, ELLs would be able to demonstrate their understanding of the topic outside of the traditional essay/composition that is so often used in many subject areas.  Activities like this one would strengthen their knowledge of the content to the extent that they would be able to write quality essays/compositions on the subject matter.  Further, with the entire class working on the same subject through this format, students would have multiple interpretations or insights into the key event(s) being studied.  With multiple valid perspectives, ELLs and others gather a deeper understanding of subject matter and that leads to more English language development and deeper content knowledge.

I wish this had been available a few years ago.  In the past, I had students create FACEBOOK character pages on chart paper.  It took time and students enjoyed it, but this offers so many more possibilities for students to show what they know.

There is a 90 second tutorial at the start.  It is easy to follow and on the BEATLES.



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