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Teachers in today’s schools are looking for more and more ways to make connections with their students. It seems that today, more than ever, students want to know why they are learning information, as well as how they will be able to use that information in their future lives, in college and beyond. Keeping students engaged while passing on so much vital information for required tests is a mammoth task for teachers.
I suggest that using some forms of social media in the classroom are a great idea. Students like and enjoy social media, and some forms just lend themselves to project based learning. I especially like the idea of using Pinterest for project-based activities. With the huge amount of resources available on the Internet, and the creativity of making a personal or project based board, Pinterest is a super platform for learning.
For me, personally, Twitter holds the most appeal for the classroom. The classroom teacher and all of the students can connect and share information and learning as it is occurring. Homework reminders can be tweeted as needed, as well as any deadlines or upcoming papers or tests. Students can share fun facts and interesting information they learned with their peers. Another wonderful feature about Twitter is this: the learning can continue outside the classroom and beyond the regular school day. Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, the amount of reading is minimal. Since the number of characters is so limited, students must think of new and concise ways to share their information. The possibilities are endless on Twitter.
I also suggest that besides having a webpage, each school building should have a Twitter account. Parents and students can follow the account and be apprised of upcoming events like Sat and ACT sign ups, fundraisers, end of the grading period, etc.
REMIND is an app that is great for coaches or teachers. All parents, students, and/or athletes’ phone numbers are put into the app one time, and the coach sends out short reminders or information. For example, when returning from a game or match when students must be picked up at the school by the parents, the coach can send out a message like “we are about 15 minutes from returning to the high school.” Teachers might send out a reminder message like “All essays due at the beginning of class Tuesday.” It is a great app for keeping a group together.
In closing, this article is just a tiny slice of all the technology that is available to help students to learn and to prepare themselves for a lifetime which will include social media. In my opinion, teachers and schools should embrace social media, which I believe is here to stay.
Author Bio: NEIL HALEY
Neil Haley, CEO of Total Tutor, has been working with children for more than 12 years. His experience includes: Classroom Teacher; After School Program Director; Behavior Specialist; Educational Advocate; Developmental Therapist, SAT Prep Coach; and Practicum Supervisor. Total Tutor is an international kindergarten through college tutoring and consulting company, providing educational advocacy, behavior therapy, autism consulting, home school consulting, all subject tutoring, and SAT/ACT/GRE tutoring. Neil is also the affable host of The Total Education Network, which is heard and viewed in over 180 countries, syndicated on 120 stations, with over 2.5 million listeners and viewers per week. Neil was also a former professional wrestler.
Neil graduated from LaRoche College with a B.S. in History, and obtained his M. Ed. at Duquesne University. He is married to Jennifer and the proud father of five children.