30 Amazing lesson ideas using social media with students in your classroom
How many students in your class have social media? Correct, many!
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. That’s why social media is important to use in education.
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.
💡 Good to know: all the ready-to-use social media activities are created with BookWidgets. You can easily duplicate an activity for free, edit it if needed, and share it with your students. You can do so in the examples separately, or you can find all the social media lesson examples from this blog post (and more!) in the BookWidgets Blog group folder.
30 ways to use social media in school
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.
To begin, it is important for students to think about their Facebook page. If they already have a profile, they can check if the information is correct and complete. The activity below guides them.
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 boundaries 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 on the latest stories, the chance to follow organizations, 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 access to the given homework. Plus it will be written down very clearly 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 or other social media channels. Let them reflect on their own use of social media.
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 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 you accidentally 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 organizations 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 exercises
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.
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. As a teacher, you can take screenshots to put the pictures in a collage. That way, you can show your students an overview of their reading experiences. Use the Random Images widget from Bookwidgets.
Like myself, there are a lot of people out there loving Instagram and using it every time to highlight the best moments in their lives! How could my favorite social media platform be used in your classroom? Well…
There’s no easier way to share the best class moments together! Using an Instagram class account, you can share the best memories of when 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.
You, as the ‘general manager’ of your class, can post pictures of students’ work during the year (with your students’ permission of course). You can also let them think about making a post themselves, like in the example below. Their results can be posted online in a Class-account.
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.
“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.
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. Have your students create their own #hastags based on the lesson topic. Check it out!👇
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.
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 a conversation, and let them become more critical readers. Let them become the wolves, not the sheep.
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. In this example, they will get a more proper idea of the history of Martin Luther King.
24. Let the student become the creator
If your school offers the opportunity to use cameras or tablets, students can be set on an assignment to write and produce. For example, let them create an advertisement video if you have a marketing class.
25. Mister Einstein
Become the crazy science teacher you’ve always wanted to be! Who cares if 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.
Would you like to get started with YouTube, but in a different way? Then, check out our ready-to-use lesson ideas based on short films from YouTube.
TikTok has become a very popular tool. Have you used it before? The students in your class will definitely know it! Use the videos from TikTok in your class, maybe they can make their own video? Check out the examples for inspiration.
Put your students in groups and offer them TikTok videos with different challenges. To begin, they are going to watch the videos. Then, they will try (one or multiple) the challenges themselves.
Many trends around music and dances often appear on TikTok. Have students choose a dance they would like to learn from a number of suggestions. Then, during gymnastics classes, you will learn the dance steps.
28. Writing assignment
It is important that students learn to form opinions. To get them more motivated, it is best to involve their world, in this case Tiktok. Show them a video on which they have to write down their opinion. Note, it is not only about forming an opinion, but also about communicating it in a good way. So pay attention to spelling, content, ….
29. Lesson introduction
Search for a video about your lesson topic. Before you get started, show them the video. This way, you can get them ‘warm’ on the subject. And as you all know, if students find something interesting, they are more likely to remember it.
30. Processing lesson content
Looking for an original ending to a class? I have a great idea! Have them make their own TikTok where they incorporate the main content of the lesson in a playful way. Note: they are not required to create a TikTok account, it is also possible to do it through other tools such as Flipgrid.
These are just a few ideas to include TikTok in the classroom, of course there are many more! Would you like to know what else you can do with it? Check out our Complete TikTok Guide for teachers.
Oops… one more thing! You’ll be the expert on your course, but you probably 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.
These were my social media classroom tips. What’s your favorite social media tool: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or TikTok? Let us know on Twitter and join our Teaching with BookWidgets Facebook group to share your social media lessons with other teachers.
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!
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 into 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 learn more about the 9 P’s, you can go to this blog where we wrote more about the digital rules.