Distraction or Solution

Is it possible to use social media in the classroom?  Yes!  There are many compelling reasons to integrate social media into curriculum.  Some of those reasons are learning about community, being prepared for the workplace, and having a lasting connection.

Create a Community in the Palm of Their Hands

Remind is an app that allows teachers to create a mobile community with students that literally extends the classroom.  It is designed to allow for communication between students, from teacher to student, and from student to teacher.  The app can be accessed through any connected device, mobile or traditional computer. This allows for text-type communication without the need to divulge phone numbers.  When the course ends, the teacher can delete the group.  I started using this app for the first time this semester with a group of accounting students in a hybrid course.

At the beginning of the course, I sent reminders to students about upcoming assignments and activities.  I implored students to use the app to ask me questions…anytime.  They complied and the activity grew into a resource we were all glad to have.  Sometimes I needed a picture of their work to determine the best way to point them in the right direction.  The app works like regular texting…they were able to snap a photo of their work and send it to me and I was able to provide concise feedback to get them back on track.

I knew the app was a worthy tool when I heard a student say that she would ask all of her classmates on Remind if they could help her with a problem and another student piped up and said she benefitted from the question asked because she had the same question but was afraid to ask.  Sold!  Price?  Free.

Companies Do It

Preparing our students for the workforce will have a missing link if social media is not a part of learning. Businesses use social media to engage their consumers and build their brands.  We want our students to gain social media skills from a consumer perspective and from a company perspective.  Students engage in social communities through school clubs and teams.  They can also develop lasting relationships with fellow students, faculty members, and school personnel that will follow them well past graduation.

Adding digital citizenship topics to discussions is necessary to raise awareness of appropriate and responsible technology use. Common Sense Education has a website dedicated to providing tools for educators and students to take advantage of technology.  There is a section of the site dedicated to digital citizenship and ethics online.

Social Communities Now and Later

The social community that a student builds during their time at a college creates a bridge.

Stay Connected
Canva graphic by Leesa Lee

It is rewarding to see former students posting and commenting on my own social media platforms.  Through these connections my department is able to continue our relationship with graduates.  This could mean a job recommendation!

This made me ponder…I wonder if my former students ever wish they could ask me a question?  If you are my former student, what are you waiting for?  Find me on Facebook or Twitter.  I’m dying to show you how to use absolute references…again!

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10 thoughts on “Distraction or Solution”

  1. Hi Leesa,

    How do you envision educators incorporating the technology needed to access social media into their classrooms? Do you believe every classroom should have district-issued one-to-one devices, or do you believe students should bring in their own devices from home? I previously worked in a school setting, so this is a fascinating subject for me. Thank you for your thoughts!

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  2. Hey Leesa! Great posting I really enjoy your blog because as technology advanced as school, a greater education comes from it. Also this App of your seem to have a cool twist that allows student to be involved inside and outside of there community, being alert about whats going on. This is far way cooler then my space. Great work!

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  3. Hi Leesa,

    Awesome post! I wish I had an app like Remind when I was in High School or when I was getting my Bachelors degree. More teachers need to be like you in terms of being proactive to integrate new technologies into your classes to enhance the experience. You made a very good point about connecting with students socially. I never thought to look for job references from former teachers.

    While not entirely the same, I coached gymnastics for many years and I connected with many of my Gymnasts on Facebook when they were in High School. Now many of them are graduating, have graduated and are getting married. It is awesome to be able to see how they have grown up. It’s very rewarding to see them succeed in life. I can only imagine that it would be the same if not even more rewarding in the position of a teacher.

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  4. Hi Leesa,
    Very interesting blog! Thank you for sharing! I have never heard of the Remind app, but I am going to check it out! As s store manager, use the app Groupme a lot to keep an open forum, however it sounds like I can use Remind as well.

    Thank you!
    Greg

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    1. Does Groupme allow for attachments? I used Groupme a while back. I think they are very similar. Remind uses “school” language which might not be perfect for the workplace. Thanks for reading!

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  5. Thanks, Leesa! My friend uses the Remind app and has really been able to see the benefits with her students. We use GroupMe for one of my work groups and it helps put all of the work in one place versus actual text message threads. Works well, but we did have to set up some rules to follow. Do you have any rules on the Remind app?

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  6. I have not had a reason to create “rule” but I do need to remind my students next year that it is not ethical to use the app (or any other method) to get answers for tests. The app puts the students in direct contact with a simple way to exchange information.

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  7. Leesa,

    I had never thought about social communities being built within, and used for, the classroom. It’s fantastic that you’ve had hands on experience with this and I can only imagine that Remind and other comparable apps will start to make their way into curriculums at all levels. Social media and online communities are part of our everyday life—only makes sense to start making them part of the educational and classroom experience!

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