Monday, February 2, 2015

Enhancing Learning with Social Media

Posted by Linda Ashida (@Ashida_Linda)

I have become increasingly interested in the impact that Social Media tools can have on teaching and learning.  Many students still see Facebook, Twitter or Instagram simply as a means of social communication, without realizing that it can be a powerful learning tool. I am reminded of this when I visit colleagues' classes, in my role as Innovative Technology Facilitator, to teach lessons on Digital Leadership or Digital Presence. Students are often amazed and excited to learn about the opportunities social media can give them to share their work, receive feedback from authentic audiences, network, and extend their learning beyond the classroom. For example, after doing these lessons for students in our Leadership Through Service course, they began to regularly post on Twitter using their class hashtag #EGLTS. They were encouraged by the responses, feedback, retweets, or even by having their blog posts republished. These students quickly began to see the impact of social media on their learning and leadership.

In my work with teachers and students, I am also reminded about the challenge we all face with organizing all of the digital content that we come across every day.  Haven't you ever thought to yourself, "I know I read that online somewhere, and I saved it somewhere . . . " but you just cannot remember where?  Curation of digital content is an important 21st century skill for us and for our students, and it is greatly facilitated by social media tools such as Diigo, Pinterest, and Scoop.It.  Just do a Google search on a topic related to your teaching and include the word "Pinterest" in the search: You will find a wealth of great curated resources by other educators. If you are like me, from the examples of others, you will find yourself intrigued by the possibilities of using Pinterest to curate resources and have your students do the same.

For my own curation of content, I regularly use both Scoop.It and Diigo. Just today on Scoop.It, I came across this interesting article "Tools for Teaching and Learning."by Leila Meyer, via @ICTPHMS. Check it out! It gives examples of how to use six social media tools, including the aforementioned Diigo, Pinterest, and Scoop.It. It also shares ideas for using Voice Thread, Instagram and Feedly. Though they are examples are from college courses, they still apply to other levels of education.  

Do you have examples of how Social Media has impacted teaching and learning for you and your students?  Please share! Comment below!

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