Social Media in Education
Creating Learning Communities through Social Networking
Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter - Does it really matter?
For the purpose of this post, let's look at three well-known social media sites: Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.
What do they have in common?
- They are voluntary networks that exist for explicit purposes.
- They serve as agents of quick information dissemination.
- They use distinct methods of getting information to many people: Likes, 1+, Retweet
- They provide an abundance of information dependent on who you are befriending, keeping in your circles, or are following.
- They tend to create a sense of community within friends, circles, and hashtags.
What is different?
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- Most widely used form of social media.
- Settings that allow you to disseminate content to a clearly defined target audience.
- Establish a class page that allows students to add themselves to a class group by liking the group and therefore receiving new post updates in their own news feed.
- Choice in whose feeds show up (and how often) in your own news feed.
- Private - if this is what you want. Nobody beyond your friends can see what you post.
- Heavy reliance on cookies and phishing to fund the site.
- Posting on Google Plus increases your chance of coming up in a Google search.
- Choose your circles (friends), but reject those you do not know via easy removal/reporting options.
- As a Google product, it works well with other Google products, i.e. Google Hangout.
Classroom tasks might be completed on that page, but the page would mainly serve as a significant communication tool between the teacher and learners because many learners are already on Facebook and are checking statuses frequently.
Google Plus serves a very similar purpose as Facebook. The lack of advertising on Google Plus might make it a better choice through which communication tasks within a class are accomplished. An established circle, could, for example, respond to comprehension and application prompts while reading a book. Students could also be asked to respond to each others' posts. It is important to keep in mind that students may not be in a habit of checking Google Plus statuses as they are with Facebook.
Using Twitter allows students to reach out to the greater community. Through the use of hashtags, students can obtain expert input on any subject. This is a great tool for research and getting expert opinions.