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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Creative Ways to Weave Social Media Into the Classroom:)

In this day and age of social media, should teachers try to incorporate twitter, pinterest, facebook, etc.  in their classroom lessons?  Well, students are already well versed in it, use it regularly, and enjoy it.  So why should teachers consider weaving various social media tools within their instructional activities? 

Using social media is a highly effective tool to spark student interest and therefore their desire to learn.  Teachers who are not very proficient in such tools will need to explore them a bit before bringing them into class, but if help is needed, students can often come to the rescue.  The benefits far outweigh the risks.  The potential rewards from enhanced instruction merit a try on the teachers part.

Facebook has already been used in some classes and with good results.  Students might use facebook for group projects.  Click here for a quick "how to build a facebook page for classroom."  Teachers will see language skills of English language learners soar as they experiment with a medium that they use regularly with their friends.  What kind of projects can a teacher initiate?  Here is a link to some. The limits are those of a teacher's imagination.

Twitter is another tool which has met with success in the classroom also.  How many ways can it become part of school?  Here are 60, but there are many more.  I have used it as a way to keep my finger on the pulse of student learning.  Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, I am more likely to get responses from ELLs who are still new at the language.  I also it carry on a lively discussion on key topics.  Students are encouraged to save the feeds as additional study tools for upcoming tests.

Pinterest is rather new.  I use it to provide key visuals which support the concept I am teaching.  I use the materials I find there in power points especially to provide background information.  When teaching content vocabulary, pinterest can provide powerful images to clarify concepts. In developing writing skills, I use key images to inspire journal writing.  The list again has no limits:)

Try social media in your lessons.  You will not be disappointed:)

Denise

ELL TEACHER PROS
Twitter @ell_teacherpros (1950 followers)
Pinterest dmcyberteacher/Denise Stewart (950 followers)

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