Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Incorporating Social Media into Your Lessons

Overview

Social Media is highly popular among teens these days. Whenever they're not at school (and sometimes in school), they're on apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. However, as they become more and more engaged with those apps, why not attempt to include those (or something similar) into your lesson plans? Including some of the following ideas are sure to engage all learners, and bring an outside interest onto their desktops.

Facebook

Scrolling through Facebook can be an easy time waster. However, it can have benefits if included in the classroom. An example of this is on the website ClassTools.net. This is an imitation Facebook profile page aptly named Fakebook. As students begin to design their Fakebook pages, they are able to insert profile images, add a wallpaper image, and creating posts. Having them create a Fakebook page for a character in a novel, President of the United States, or other character of importance is a great way to engage their creativity, while using a platform they're completely familiar with.

Instagram

Being one of the top two Social Media preferences of students, Instagram gives the visual learner a plethora of information in a clean, easy to view format. Plus, it offers an opportunity to capture and store everlasting memories. But, using this is in the classroom may seem out of the question, but thanks to Matt Miller at Ditch That Textbook, he has created an Instagram Stories Using Google Slides template. Simply make a copy of the template, have students snap several different photos, and then get to work! With this, students could create an Instagram story on a science lab, scenes from a story, or historical events.

Twitter

Having a classroom Twitter is a cool benefit to classrooms, but allowing students to actually create a Twitter feed catapults them into higher learning immediately. Similar to Fakebook, the Twitter Template for Students provides students with a template that can be filled in with text and images, just as a true Twitter feed looks. Imagine having students document an event in history as it might have appeared on Twitter! This would engage them, plus provide them the opportunity to go in-depth with their learning.

Snapchat

Easily the most popular app that students are using, Snapchat is a terrific way to engage students in the classroom. A terrific use for this is known as #booksnaps, developed by Tara Martin, an educator from Kansas. These are pictures that are taken of a text and can be drawn on with Bitmojis, colored text, and annotated to draw attention to a certain piece of text. Understandably, teachers don't want to allow students to use Snapchat in the classroom, but a terrific substitute for this could be Google Drawings. Have students take a snapshot of the text they're reading, then fill it with images, arrows, and highlights to showcase that text. This can be integrated into a wide variety of subject areas, for the purpose of having students dig deeper into the content.

Bitmoji

Another tool that would be awesome to include in the classroom would be a Bitmoji. Many students already have these created, so all students would have to do is insert them into their assignments. This would allow them to take further ownership of their learning. The biggest struggle is how students would have the opportunity to save them without accessing the Bitmoji site or add-on, as it is blocked in many districts. But, students could do this on their own device on their own network. Students would select their favorite, school appropriate Bitmojis, and then save them to Google Drive, which can then be easily pulled into an assignment.

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