Discussion # 8: Social Media

By: Stacey Robinson EIST 8120


Educators are increasingly interested in using social media as a tool to facilitate engagement and encourage learning. In doing so, teachers not only encourage students to engage actively in the material, but they also provide online communities for students that might not exist for them in real life.
The purpose of this flyer is to:

  • Discuss similarities and differences of two different social media sites?
  • Describe a learning activity that I would share on each of these social media sites for teaching or training.

Social Media Sites

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Pinterest for Educators

I've always had a fascination for "pinning." Thanks to Pinterest, I am even more fascinated with the idea of pinning together all of my professional interests. In Pinterest you can create an electronic bulletin board and pin it with things things (websites, pictures, etc...) of interest to you. At first, I would us Pinterest for personal reasons (finding recipes, DIY project ideas, yard work ideas, etc.), but then I started thinking about ways in which teachers can use Pinterest to enhance what they do in the classroom with students:

  • Organizing Content- Teachers can pin images, links, and videos in a visually engaging manner so that it is accessible and exciting. In addition, teachers can create resource boards for themselves as well as students. Sharing is extremely easy because each board generates its own link.
  • Brainstorming- Teachers can create collaborative boards with their colleagues and/or students so that multiple users can pin ideas and resources together to create one enormous visual. Also, teachers can also brainstorm ideas with other teachers in their professional learning network (PLN).
  • Ideas for Engaging Students: The possibilities are so intriguing. Teachers can look for ideas for specific classroom projects and assignments. They can even find cool ways to set up their classroom (CAUTION: This site can keep you up way past your bedtime!). Follow boards and people who share the same interest as you in order to stay up with what they are pinning.
  • Conference Summaries and Notes: At a conference, presenters routinely share links to websites and images. I find Pinterest to be a cool place to create a board, curate conference information and share the link to the Pinterest board with colleagues.

In conclusion, Pinterest is also a great way to build your own Professional Learning Network (PLN). Click here to learn more.

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Twitter is by far one of my favorite go-to social media sites for teaching and learning. I used correctly, it can enrich a learning environment and even forge informal professional networks. Thanks to Twitter, I have made friends with teachers and instructional technologist all over the world. By following other educators, I can keep up with the latest trends, news, and happenings in education. I must say that Twitter is a different world that you must learn how to navigate. Unlike Pinterest, Twitter provides a 140 character line statement filled with hashtags and links. Thanks to an app called TweechMe, I have been able to leverage Twitter and enhance my PLN. Since hashtags mean everything, I have compiled a list #hashtags for educators to follow. Once you become familiar with Twitter, it is imperative for you to start Tweeting yourself. You can tweet student's work, technology projects, etc.) so that people can start following and learning from you (be sure to review your school's policy regarding social media and student privacy).

Using Twitter for Teaching and Training

  • Connect Content with Current Events- Use Twitter as a research tool to pull current events into your course content.
  • Access and mobility- Twitter is extremely mobile meaning that students can utilize Twitter on their smartphones and other mobile devices to access learning and complete activities while on the go.
  • Displaying Knowledge in Small Chunks- Twitter provides an interesting alternative to posting in a forum or other activities. It also invites students to engage with content in a different manner.
  • Curation of Content- By using a unique #hashtag for a course, students could potentially search tweets by other previous and existing student in the class to share information, resources and references.

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