Can Social Media be used Effectively in Classrooms?

April 19, 2014



Social networking sites are a lot more than a platform for staying connected with friends and family. Social media gives us the opportunity to reach out and make a difference not just to people you know but to the world. As an educator, I have used the social media platforms to reach out to students across the world. But before you decide on how you want to use it, and how effectively you should use it, here are a few points to keep in mind.

The advantages:

  • You need to develop important social media skills required in today’s world
  • You need to prepare students for the world of social media
  • Social media gives opportunity to give feedback to individual students
  • It is an easy way to communicate and connect with parents
  • It is useful for gathering and sharing resources
  • It helps give a shy student a voice

The last advantage is extremely important as shy students in class hardly get to voice their opinions, ask questions or state points, they do not participate in classroom discussions. They usually just sit in one corner of the class. Such students prefer written communication. Therefore, social media will be the best platform for them to communicate with the rest of the class and teachers.

A few “do’s and don’ts”

  • Do not create personal accounts, stick to classroom accounts
  • Provide the students with resources but make sure that this does not become the only place for resources
  • Do provide students with feedback they require but don’t follow them
  • Do not leave the classroom social media unsupervised but do create a class contract
  • Do teach your students about digital citizenship

PLN or Personal Learning Network helps you grow. Here’s what it does:

  • Connects like-minded teachers
  • Helps find resources beyond the clutches of Google
  • Helps in answering and asking questions

How to improve PLN?

  • Share resources
  • Follow and be followed by others
  • Join chats related to education
  • Share the resources of others
  • Take part in discussions online

Sharing resources

A school’s account on social media is extremely effective and sharing resources as a school account is powerful. These accounts are also popular. These accounts can be used by teachers to share resources with students, give them information on upcoming events, holidays and various other activities. Teachers can also make things interesting by mixing learning with entertainment.

Platforms you can use

Pinterest: You can use this platform to create and share pictorial resources with your students

Twitter: You can carry out classroom discussions on Twitter by posting questions, using unique hash tags, can be used to discuss and research about a topic or a person, etc.

Facebook: This is the most popular platform you can use. You can create groups to share resources, create assignments designed like events, etc.

I believe, that with social media, you can help your students a lot in an interactive, fun and enthusiastic manner. Social media in classrooms should be introduced for the benefit of students and teachers.

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