Effectively Using Social Media for Online Learning
There’s no denying it. Social media has played a vital role during these unprecedented times — from providing news and information to keeping people connected in the safety of their homes.
Despite the bad and the ugly sides of social media, it has kept people connected in so many ways. When used in moderation and with purpose, it is a powerful tool that can be used in different areas including education.
“But social media is dangerous!”
That is true but believe it or not, there are educational possibilities in social media. Even before the pandemic, teachers often use social media for education-related activities and a channel to gather information to improve their teaching practices.
And yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Incorporating lessons to social media is also a challenge to the teaching force. There are matters that need to be considered like setting guidelines for the class while using a social media platform.
Social media can be dangerous but with its advancements over the course of time, social media platforms now offer different services and features that the teaching force can take advantage of to make learning even more accessible to their students.
Now you’d ask, “Okay, how do I make use of social media to my advantage as a teacher?”
There are many ways you can make social media advantageous for you as a teacher and make learning more accessible and fun to your students.
Here are some tips to make use of social media effectively.
Choosing the Right Platform
You have to identify the activities that you’ll be using social media for in your class. There are several social media platforms that offer different services and can be used to your advantage depending on the type of activity you’ll be needing it for.
Here are some insights to what popular social media platforms can offer you:
- Create a Facebook Group Page for your class. This can be a place where updates, assignments, class activities are posted and even discussions can be initiated.
- Make use of Facebook’s Live Stream. You can live stream discussions and post this in your class’ group page. They can easily go back to the discussion when they’re studying and working on activities.
- Connect to your students through Facebook’s Group Chat. Aside from the group page, you can easily post updates and reminders to your class through inviting everyone to a group chat.
2. Instagram Make use of Instagram as a photo essay platform. Encourage students to post photos and write reflections or essay entries for a discussion that the class had. This allows students to share their ideas and improve their storytelling skills. This makes essay activities more fun and engaging for your students.
3. Twitter Twitter can be a fun way to engage discussions in class through creating a class hashtag. Students can tweet depending on the activity and include the class hashtag. Some teachers take academic activities such as debates, GTKY activities, and even blogging on Twitter. You can encourage your students to create a new account for academic activities that they can easily deactivate when the course is over.
Make Learning Materials Easily Accessible
Easily share learning resources and references to your students by uploading them in your group page and letting the class know that this can be used as a reference for your ongoing lesson.
You can also encourage your students to share the learning resources they’ve found online to the class. Sharing resources can spark engaging discussions fostering a good rapport among the class.
Channel for Correct Information
It’s no secret that one of social media’s ugly points is the rampant spread of false news and misinformation. This becomes a reason for you to be the channel of correct information for your students.
Sharing information can be engaging and fun in your own way! You can do it through infographics or posting a picture along with the information and encourage your students to follow you so they’d get notified when you post a new update.
You’d definitely sound like an influencer but up to a notch — a TEACHFLUENCER!
Connect to Your Students
Social media is powerful when it comes to connecting people and as a teacher, this is something you should take most advantage of. Apart from taking social media into your lessons, this can also be a way for you to know what goes on in your students’ lives after the class is done and what happens beyond the classroom.
Connecting to your students would help you to know them more and how they are dealing with life. This might come handy in the future when a student needs your help!
Social media is a good platform to connect and reinforce that no student will be left behind.
Social media has long evolved to cater even the education sector and be a platform for educational purposes. And as a teacher, it is your responsibility to be a role model to your students not only in the classroom but in digital platforms like social media.
Always encourage safe and responsible use of social media in your class, Ma’am/Sir!
 12 Ways to Use Social Media for Education (https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-for-education/)
 Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas (https://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-resources-educators-matt-davis)
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