Sunday, April 27, 2014

California Association of Bilingual Educators--My Presentation on Social Media in the Classroom:)

Edmodo, Twitter, Pinterest

The Common Core will demand building higher literacy skills for English language learners if they are to academically survive in school and beyond.    For this to be realized, teachers should become familiar with the technology that students are already well versed in:  Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (to name only 3).  Imagine how more engaged students could be if the "known" became part of class routines.

This workshop will demonstrate how EDMODO (FACEBOOK for classrooms), TWITTER, and PINTEREST (academic themes here) enhance instruction for all students.  We will explore options each offers in building literacy, conducting academic research, delivering academic arguments, and writing with conviction--goals of common core as well.

I.  Introduction: 

Social media is very popular with many students.  With such popularity, I decided to start making it work for me in the classroom--students (with strict rules) are allowed to use their cell phones in the classroom!

For TWITTER, I use it with my university students.  It provides a lively feed on what students wish to share on concepts taught in class.  Such feeds may help students who struggle or offer crucial information to me on what to reteach.  Also responses are no more than 140 characters which prevents wordiness on anyone's part (including me).

II.  Pinterest -- it is not just cooking and fashions:).  Think of this site as one of VIRTUAL bookmarks.  You find pictures (which lead you to links) tied to subject areas you created with your boards.

I have 32 boards covering social studies, science/space, English literature, mathematics, diversity, Spanish, French, etc.  To date, I have over 1,250 and climbing.

How do these boards help?  I use selected pictures to provide background information on topics that may be new for students.  Remember that a picture is still worth 1,000 words.

If teachers want students to have access to boards (just to see them), teachers can create private boards that only their students can see.

III. Twitter -- I use this link to stay on top on what fellow educators are doing in teaching ELLs, working with the latest technology, keeping up with science, etc.  It is very useful in my university classes.

Go to my favorites to explore anything and everything on teaching.  

To date, I have 2,225 followers (@ell_teacherpros).   To see my awesome retweets and favorites, you will need to create an account and then look for @ell_teacherpros:) 

I look for links to teaching resources or to colleagues around the world dealing with the same issues I am trying to address with my students.

Though I have tried TWITTER with high school students, I found EDMODO more effective since I have total control on what gets posted:)

IV. Edmodo -- think of this as an awesome virtual classroom which students can access from anywhere with an internet connection.  Since the cell phone is popular, I have students actively use their phones in class when we are not in the computer room (if in the computer room, we are using computers to access EDMODO).  You will need a school email address to access it.  Further, your students' parents can access the site to see what their children are doing.  They can only observe though.

What can teachers do with EDMODO?  Almost anything!

1.  Set up differentiated classrooms within the same class.
2.  Allow students to TWITTER (all safely within EDMODO only) in a safe environment.
3.  Set up assignments with lock out dates.
4.  Create quizzes (multiple choice, true/false, short answer, matching) that can be timed no less.
5.  Take in class polls (great exit ticket).
6.  Keep parents informed on what their child is doing (students must give parents an access code first).
7.  Network with teachers around the world on Edmodo.  International collaboration is possible with this tool.

Try out anyone of these tools and be prepared to be amazed:)


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