25 lesson ideas to use social media in the classroom!

Social media and the process of learning do blend better than anyone of us could have imagined. Who doesn’t like an innovative, creative way to work together? Social media not only helps the process of learning but also helps us to connect easier.

In this blog post I’ll talk about the most popular social media tools and how to use those social media tools in your classroom. Prepare yourselves for this social media guide for teachers.

25 ways to use social media in school

Facebook

Facebook is so much more than only a social platform where we connect with old friends or learn about events next week. Teachers can use Facebook in the classroom for projects, to communicate, and especially to receive more engagement in the learning process. I’ll give you some tricks and tips to open up the process:

1. Create a classroom community

Thanks to Facebook groups, students will share more and dare to ask questions in a more easy way. You can help them or give the opportunity to students to help each other. Keep in mind: set some rules in the group, such as:

  • What does and what doesn’t belong in the group.
  • Make some bounderies that can’t be crossed.

It also allows shy students a way to communicate in a more easy way.

2. Poll your class

Use polls as an interactive teaching tool in class. It’s a fun way of getting to know one another. Also an easy way to measure the opinions of the students, and you show value to their opinions.

3. Keep up with the news

Thanks to Facebook or using social media in teaching in general, you can keep the students posted of the latest stories, the chance to follow organisations, companies, politicians. This way you both keep up with the latest changes.

4. Make announcements and post homework

Students and tutors alike can post relevant articles or websites if they find some good resources back home. As a lot of the students will have a Facebook account, it’s easy to give them acces to the given homework. Plus it will be written down very clear what’s expected of them and when it’s due.

5. Teach digital responsibility

Teach students some digital citizenship. Give them guidelines for responsible and appropriate behavior when they are using Facebook. In this case, students have to know how to interact with friends and strangers on their social profile. Quote Facebook social media

Snapchat

Yes indeed, Snapchat! Students love working with Snapchat. They love sharing their moments together. Thanks to Snapchat videos and pictures, there’s an easy way to do that! What a fun way to use Snapchat in your classroom!

6. One-way communication

Snapchat can be used for one-way communication, for example a classroom/school account can be used to broadcast content but not receive content from others. This way they can follow your account without unnecessary reactions of students.

7. Real-life examples

If you’re e.g. a biology teacher, and you were teaching about a special animal species which youu accidently ran into while doing a hike, you can instantly show it to your students thanks to the Snapchat account. And what about learning through social media for math? Show your students real-life math hacks you come upon outside the classroom. This way, you prove to your students that math is actually really useful once they’re out in the real world.

8. Become a reporter

Schools or organisations can bring news to the entire community. Report on a musical play organized by your school. Or just show them live images of a high school football play.

9. Vocabulary excersises

Yes, I’m saying it! Every tutor has a responsibility to teach vocabulary! By using Snapchat, you can have students …

  • … take pictures of their errors, let them mark it with the “pen” function.
  • … share good experiences with one another, since they’re looking for confirmation from each other.

10. #Booksnaps

Students in any subject can easily take a Snapchat picture of what they’re reading, share their thoughts about it and send it to others. Yes, also back to you! Which offers a lot more engagement than standard practices.

Instagram

Like myself, there are a lot of people out there loving instagram and using it everytime to highlight the best moments in their lives! How could my favorite social media platform be used in your classroom? Well…

11. Class-account

There’s no easier way to share the best class-moments together! By using an Instagram class-account, you can share the best memories of the time your class took a field trip.

12. Student of the Week

Every new week you introduce your followers to a new student, let the student have a ‘bio’ post with the favorite picture of themself. Don’t forget to give some guidance, such that the content is school-appropriate.

13. Progression

You, as the ‘general manager’ of your class, can post pictures of students' work during the year (with your students' permission of course).

14. Hunting game

Let students use ‘Instagram stories’ to hunt down specific things or types of things in the big, big world around them. This way, without their knowing, you’ll open up the eyes of the students and let them see more.

15. Build a team

Last but not least! Build a staff of students who are willing to manage the account correctly and with passion. Since not everyone of us is a fan of social media, try to include everyone.

Twitter

“From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, get the full story with all the live commentary.” Quoted by Twitter. Isn’t this what we need? News flashes, entertainment, and so on.

16. Engage parents

Parents interested in daily classes can follow you. Your way of tweeting will give them more of an image about what is happening in the classroom.

Using Twitter in the classroom

17. Summary

To conclude your class, ask the students to ‘tweet’ about the subject in a short summary. Let them give opinions about the subject. You’ll see they’ll open up to conversation.

18. Join some of these #hashtags

Connect easily with other teachers and stay tuned to the latest trends regarding education by subscribing to the #educhat or #edutech hashtag and participate in the community.

19. Explore and tweet!

Nothing more fun for the students than to go out there and explore the things they learn. Let them tweet about their experiences. This way, family members can follow their journey and you can see the effort the students put into the fieldtrip.

20. Microreviews

Give your students the opportunity to react to certain book assignments, and let them express their thoughts. Maybe even send tweets to the author? Or summarize a book review with only 280 characters? Open up conversation, and let them become more critical readers. Let them become the wolves, not the sheep.

Youtube

Let’s dive into the world of funny videos and crazy animal clips. There has to be more to it, right? DUH, YouTube offers a dozen ways of using it for educational purposes. Let’s turn this one-dimensional lesson into an interactive discussion that opens up the imagination of students:

21. EdTech school

YouTubeEdu, videos specifically created for educational purposes, are often concise and professional in their style. Look at one of our own EdTech videos:

22. Literature classes

Play videos of artists showing their own work. There is no better way of showing the work since the artists are the ones knowing all about it.

23. History archive

Smooth… By using YouTube in the classroom, you can easily use some videos to show the generation of tomorrow what it used to be. They will get a more proper idea about how people were treated differently an how their lives were unalike now.

24. Let the student become the creator

If your school offers the opportunity to use cameras or tablets, students can be set an assignment to write and produce. For example, if you have a marketing class, let them create an advertisment video.

25. Mister Einstein

Become the crazy science teacher you’ve always wanted to be! Who cares you haven’t got the means to create large scale experiments, a lot of crazy peeps already have done it for you! Just search down youtube.

Oops… one more thing! You’ll be the expert on your course, but you propably are not an expert when it comes to social media. Interact with your students, let them show you the way! YES, students are happy to teach you something in return. Beware that not every student has a social media account. Make sure to include all of them.

Wrapping Up

These were my social media classroom tips. Wondering how to manage social media in the classroom, without students abusing your efforts or just want to have a look at more tips on using social media in education? Go see our other blog!

FYI

I haven’t talked about Pinterest in this post, but Pinterest also offers a lot of possibilities to use in the classroom. USC Rossier developed a Guide to Pinterest for Educators. Check it out !

If you’re integrating social media in your lessons, keep in mind that there are some rules to live by when it comes to privacy. Digital citizenship is a broad understanding. Vicky Davis from the Cool Cat Teacher Blog divides the term in 9 key learnings: the 9 P’s.

To know more about the 9 P’s, you can go to this blog where we wrote more about the digital rules.

25 ways to integrate social media in your classroom

Icons by the noun project: Swiss Army Knife by IYIKON, Facebook by priyanka, instagram by Andrey, Ghost by AB, youtube by ✦ Shmidt Sergey, Twitter by Housin Aziz

Ruben Knapen

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