Social Media Tips & Tech Tools for the Classroom
A fast-paced digital world has found its way into the classroom and is paving a bright new future for learning, enrichment and parent participation. In much different ways than many current educators and parents experienced when they were students, social media is shaping new worlds of learning and helping school parents and teachers connect – here’s how:
- Professional Development for Educators: Teachers are rocking the ‘twittersphere,’ where they collaborate on educational topics like common core, iPad implementations, flipped classrooms and blended learning. Weekly chats (you’ll see them filed under their “hashtag” name, such as #kinderchat, #elemchat, #edchat) provide open and welcoming spaces for educators to gather feedback, grow lesson plans and participate in continuing education opportunities. Check out Parents Guide to Twitter in Education from Edutopia.
- Classroom Enrichment for Students: Social media tools like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are connecting modern technology with world cultures. These tools are the new encyclopedias – without the dusty bookshelves – and include up-to-the minute, history-defining moments. Whole classrooms can Skype with classrooms in other parts of the country or world, collaborating with students and learning from teachers far and wide.
- Engagement for Class Parents: More parents are using social media to create private classroom communities for sharing classroom information and updates. They have found valuable platforms to coordinate class activities and to post online signup sheets for parent volunteers. Class and school blogs (like those on EduBlogs) give parents a chance to stay up-to-date on classroom happenings, assignments, activities and announcements. Pinterest is also trending with parents (especially moms) as a treasure trove of creative ideas for class parties, fundraisers, reading lists and educational games that come to life in visually-inspiring pin boards.
As a room parent or teacher/parent liaison, take the dive in the social media pool today and start experimenting in your classroom! You are sure to be wowed by the ideas, knowledge and feedback social school communities can offer.