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social media's use in secondary educationWith the explosive growth of social media on...

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dwbettine | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM via web

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social media's use in secondary education

With the explosive growth of social media on the Internet, (Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, etc.) what are effective ways in which to leverage them as educational tools?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM (Answer #2)

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I recently took an online college course where Facebook was used extensively, primarily for communication, but also to share images for other class members to see (it was a graphic design course). Facebook was much easier to access than the college's own online email and communications center, so I considered it a successful educational tool. The graphic projects posted on Facebook were accessed and graded by the teacher, so hard copies were not needed.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM (Answer #3)

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The only decent idea I've heard of for use in secondary school is to try to imagine famous people in history (my area) using Facebook or Twitter or what have you.  How would their friends be?  Who would they follow?  What would they have posted when...  I haven't done this myself yet, but it sounds like a possible use.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM (Answer #4)

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I would hope that, with time and increased familiarity with options and measures to insure security for users, that the social media will allow students from geographically distant locations to share personal experiences and viewpoints as shaped by different cultures. There's so much that could be learned about how others view the world, opinions regarding current events, interpretations of foreign relations situations, discussions of international economic developments, planning to attempt to modify or deal with effects of global climate change, arts from other cultures - it would be easy to involve every subject area in the curriculum in such exchanges. I'm sorry I'm not involved with a classroom that has access to such technology - I would love to be the teacher learning right along with my students!

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wshoe | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM (Answer #5)

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My students have asked me to set up a class Facebook page for keeping up with due dates and for asking questions.  Since I use Blackboard, I decided not to create a Facebook page because it would be so much to keep up with.  Facebook is technically frowned up in my district (teachers and students aren't allowed to be friends).  Is Edmodo the site similar to Facebook for classroom use?  I do think we have to tap into the power of social media because students spend so much time engaged in it themselves.  My daughter (12 years old) does her homework most nights while connected with three or four other friends through ooVoo.  I certainly see how students could collaborate using tools like that.

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dwbettine | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM (Answer #6)

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My students have asked me to set up a class Facebook page for keeping up with due dates and for asking questions.  Since I use Blackboard, I decided not to create a Facebook page because it would be so much to keep up with.  Facebook is technically frowned up in my district (teachers and students aren't allowed to be friends).  Is Edmodo the site similar to Facebook for classroom use?  I do think we have to tap into the power of social media because students spend so much time engaged in it themselves.  My daughter (12 years old) does her homework most nights while connected with three or four other friends through ooVoo.  I certainly see how students could collaborate using tools like that.

Yes, Edmodo.com is the educational version of Facebook. I use Edmodo to post assignments, practice quizzes and exams. Students use it to ask each other questions about homework, etc. Students in a school club I host use it to post their research for our balloon in space project.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM (Answer #7)

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I am in the process of setting up a Twitter account for parents/students, and a Facebook page for my Advanced Placement courses.  Some districts have very specific guidelines for how to maintain social networking contacts with students, since it is outside of the school server/control.  Always makes them a bit nervous, so I set the Facebook page to public where anyone can view it, and encourage parents at Open House, etc. to sign on to the page as well.  I can think of better ways to spend my time than "Tweeting", but I think we have to embrace social media and adapt with the times educationally.

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 3:51 PM (Answer #8)

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In some ways I wish it were possible to use Facebook for some aspects of my online teaching, rather than Blackboard, which is not nearly as "user-friendly" as Facebook or most other sites I use often (such as eNotes).  I realize, of course, that Blackboard presents many more options for educators, but I wish it were more intuitive and did not require so much instruction.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 28, 2011 at 7:22 PM (Answer #9)

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I have worked at a college where they had their own Virtual Learning Environment or VLE which enabled students to communicate online like they do on facebook and to share images and pictures in discussion forums. It was a great experience for me as it enabled me to enrich my teaching with far more resources and activities that my students really enjoyed. Just for one example, I was able to post discussion questions on the webpage that students were able to debate themselves.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM (Answer #10)

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I cannot see too many usages for social media. I think there is probably too much of this going on already in the classroom. In light of this, I believe that we need to get away from things like social media in the classroom and interact with people one on one. There is something lost when we only communicate with people through electronic means. Most of the suggestions above could be done much better in more traditional ways.

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