5 More Ways to Use Social Media in Classrooms (Session 2)
By Ahmad Amirali
In my previous post, 5 Ways to Use Social Media in Classrooms (Session 1), I shared 5 ways through which I used social media to involve and engage my students with the lesson. In this post, I will share 5 more ideas of creative use of social media in the classroom. However, before discussing these ideas, I would like to share and answer some of the concerns my colleagues asked me about using social media in the classroom. Their queries helped me to understand better why some teachers feel reluctant to use technologies in their classrooms and believe me, this behaviour shows the level of vigilance and cautiousness teachers follow while planning their lessons.
Question 1: How the use of social media helped student’s participation?
Nowadays, social media now become an essential tool/activity for every individual, including our students. These platforms encourage students who do not usually participate actively in the classroom to participate in their own way.
Question 2: Is it secure enough for students and teachers?
Safety and security are based on how technology has been practised responsibly in the classroom. There are always pros and cons of every pedagogy which a teacher wants to use in their lessons. Similarly, the use of social media has their own pros and cons; however, proper and responsible utilisation of these tools will eradicate such threats.
To review such pros and cons and all other queries read this article.
Now let’s explore 5 more ways through which you can use social media as a classroom pedagogy in your lessons.
Using Character board on Pinterest
Similar to the Bulletin board, students can select research their book character or assigned historical figure and pin the information as a character or information board on Pinterest. There can be a variety of images a student can pin and use to present their research task. Parents can also become part of the board by saving students pins.
Use of ‘Story Feature’ on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all have a story feature that allows pictures and videos to be displayed for 24 hours before they disappear. That means these compilations do not become part of a permanent social media profile, making them the perfect place to practice journalism skills for students or a current events assignment in a social study, geography or writing class.
I only practice this once in my classroom, I set and communicated the conditions of the assignment/task to the students first. I divide the students into pairs/triads and gave each group an event to cover for example spring festival etc. in the same way a journalist broadcast any incident in the news. Students also interview other participants (their group mates) and uploaded the video as their story.
Previous this year, I wrote an article on Bitmojis: Creative Way to add Popular Culture in Classrooms and discussed how I use this strategy in my classroom to celebrate women’s role in our society. Bitmojis are emoji or avatar. The avatar can be modified in many ways like hair and eye colour, face shape, and height and weight. We can even dress our avatar in different outfits according to any occasion like Halloween, Christmas or a beach party. Once your personalised Bitmoji generated, it can then be used in any platform of social media; Instagram, Facebook or snapchat in the form of digitising stickers or emojis.
Interestingly, these emojis can also update according to the current season or event. For detail about how to use it in your lesson plans, visit this article.
#Hashtag Scavenger Hunt
As I discussed in my previous article, #Hashtags, allow users to organise and categorise content so that it is searchable over google in a later time. However, the concept of #Hashtag can be used as assignment specific hashtags. In this way, students will have a task to go out in public and find examples of a concept being taught in the classroom. For instance; #theethicalsunday, #myactof kindness etc. Social media like Instagram, are now allowing users to post hashtags on their stories and to tag other users in stories.
Spoken/Written Word Poetry on Snapchat or Instagram
Snapchat and Instagram are a great place to share poetry, whether it is in a written or spoken form. The interface allows users to post photos of poems they’ve written, and students can attach hashtags to their writing to increase the size of their readership.
These are the 5 ways through which I try to engage the student with the topic as well as respecting their comfort level. However, one of the enemies of students’ classroom participation is their boredom. Students feel bored quickly, especially with subjects like social studies and history. Using social media in the classroom provides new avenues to students’ creativity and imagination. I hope this will allow and help many other teachers in the same way. Good luck 😊
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