Liking and Tweeting for Education: How Social Media is Helping with the Learning Process

Posted on August 26, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Educators know that the pendulum of pedagogy moves back and forth over time.  One thing that does not change is the necessity for teachers to communicate effectively with students, parents, administration, and colleagues.  In a post-modern world, social media networks provide savvy teaching staff a platform to engage the intended audience in a way that is innovative, effective, and cutting-edge.

Communicating with Students

It isn’t always easy to communicate across generational lines, and teachers often find that the engaged student is more likely to become motivated to invest in the curriculum.  Many young people and adults utilize social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to keep abreast of social trends and interpersonal relationships.  Incorporating this now-natural inclination into the classroom helps make the curriculum relevant and may spark interest.  Some secondary teachers and professors utilize Facebook as a forum for online discussion and homework assignments.

Facebook Education

Students can log onto the class page, post comments about assignments, and engage in discussions with staff and peers about the work.  This online setting is familiar for students and may afford them greater freedom in expressing opinions and ideas than the traditional classroom.  The opportunity to engage from a distance and edit thoughts before sharing them aloud may prove beneficial for reluctant learners.

Tweet educationFurther, engaging with students online allows teachers to model appropriate rhetorical practices online and elevate the social media network itself.  Incorporating Facebook into the curriculum also gives students access to online resources.  Teachers can link these resources and show students how to utilize them in homework assignments and discussions.  Similarly, using Twitter in the classroom allows teachers to continuously engage the classroom community in a distilled way.

Building a social community amongst peers and staff and carrying the discussions that happen within the classroom outside the walls of the school through Tweeting allows the staff and other students to take advantage of teachable moments as they organically arise.  Teacher can also encourage students to use Twitter to follow contemporary thinkers in the field and gain insight into related professions and current trends.

Communicating with Parents

Social media networks can make the process of integrating the home and classroom environments smoother.  Creating a classroom Facebook page allows teaching staff to communicate with groups of parents as a whole and receive feedback in the form of “likes” and posted comments.  An advantage of this form of communication is that it can allow large groups of parents to engage with the teacher, the curriculum, and each other in a way that modern life and scheduling conflicts often preclude.  Facebook also allows staff to message individual parents with specific issues or concerns and gives parents the opportunity to message each other, as well.  Forming this bond amongst the parents in a classroom can be effective in early childhood classrooms, secondary classrooms, and even university settings.  In a similar way, Tweeting with parents may give them windows into the curriculum and classroom happenings that open dialogue with the student.

Bringing People Together

In addition to giving voice to those who can not meet  in real time, social media allows diverse groups of people to interface in a way that feels dynamic.  Students who are actively engaged with the teacher, the curriculum, fellow students, and even other invested adults, such as administrators and parents, may find more opportunities for success both within and without the classroom.  After all, that kind of success is what inspires teachers in the first place.


About the Author: This article was penned by Karl Stockton for the team at kendall.edu. For those interested in hotel management college, contact Kendall to learn about their hotel management college degree programs.

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About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has finished his graduation in the field of IT and is currently mastering in Business Analytics and Information Systems. He also loves watching cricket, listening to music and aspires to be a Data Scientist. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

Comments

  1. Facebook and Twitter are the major social media used today.Not only to have more friends online but also to promote products and services!I’m glad that students use it to express themselves freely on those.

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