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.
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!