Doing work that matters. All students should be able to be part of that. No longer working for the teacher's wastebasket, students across the world are connecting and sharing like never before. They are led by teachers unafraid of the world but who escort their kids out to meet the future.
While a recent poll showed 9 out of 10 teachers do not use social media in the classroom, there are teachers who are. Social doesn't have to be a distraction and kids can be safe. Let's dive into ten ways teachers have used social media in the classroom to enhance learning. These are some of my personal favorites among many. Please share yours in the comments.
1. Jacques du Toit and the Tweeting Aztecs
Aussie teacher Jacques du Toit has his students create Twitter accounts as many of the well known Aztecs. They tweet events as if they are happening. This creative use of Twitter is allowed because Twitter permits the use of pseudonyms. He told me that his students became so engaged into what various characters would be saying and doing. How did they link together? A hashtag.
2. Karen Lirenman and her Tweeting First Graders
Using a Twitter account, @MrsLsClass, Karen Lirenman and her class share their work with the world. When I interviewed her, she has a system and way to keep them safe and share their best work. Worth a follow!
This is our teamwork tower. pic.twitter.com/gWW5iohBvv
— Ms. L's Class (@MsLsClass) April 14, 2016
3. Kathy Cassidy's Blogging Six Year Olds
I really want our classroom blog to be a digital portfolio of their developing skills.
4. Julie Hembree's Global Poetry Unites Project
Global Poetry Unites is all over Twitter right now for National Poetry Month. It may be a US month, but classrooms are participating from everywhere! Just look at the hashtag #ClrPoem on Twitter and you'll see lots of kids involved in the current challenge to write a poem using the color red. The challenges change but follow along in Julie's Online Notebook about the project.
5. Michael Hayes' 9 o'clock Science Challenge on Facebook
So, Michael Hayes is a science teacher. He has a YouTube channel but the world becomes his classroom at 9 pm each night when he posts his 9 o'clock challenge on Facebook. He gets prizes and sends them to people all over the place. Many people compete although he started this for his students. What a blast!
6. PS22 Chorus on YouTube and Facebook
If you've never heard the PS22 Chorus voices or seen what their teacher, Gregg Breinberg, has done, then grab your headphones and a hanky and take a listen on YouTube or Facebook. They sang to one of their teachers who had recently been diagnosed with cancer– I'm Going to Love You Through It. Wow. They've had Pop Stars, Rock Stars and done so much. Social media has transformed the program and the school.
7. Lake Brantley High School and To Be Kind
I recently learned about Lake Brantley's movement when seeing some kindness bulletin boards posted by Stacy Eck. I interviewed them about their junior high school's program to encourage kindness. #tbk is becoming a movement of sorts with many schools seeing it as a way to stamp out bullying by teaching kids to be kind. They are on Instagram and many places.
8. Yollis' 366 Project
While Linda Yollis has a fantastic classroom blog, her 366 Project is incredible. She has clear instructions for how students from around the world can submit their photos to be shared. These photos make great writing prompts, conversation starters, and can spur on so many ideas in the classroom.
9. Kevin Jarrett's STEM Lab Projects and Capstones
Kevin Jarrett is one of the leaders in STEM / STEAM lab creation. His students are sharing their 2016 capstone projects on their blog. They are using design thinking and combining it with empathy. What a powerful, unique way to use science and math and socioemotional learning!
10. Making Apps that Matter
I'm partial to this group of students. My classroom is one of the five classrooms programming apps that matter in MAD about Mattering. We are doing it right now. As I write this post, students are firing up their social media posting and creating the web pages for the apps that they have programmed meeting the heartbreaks they have. The first week of May 2016, they'll be sharing their creations with the world and using social media to share the message, encourage people to test their apps, and ask for support for their projects. Susan Bearden has made a list of their handles and is adding them as they are created. Here are some sample tweets:
Bullying is the reason why about 160,000 students skip school each day. (https://t.co/K5ehbMU64D)
— Bullyproof (@Bullyproof2016) April 18, 2016
Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior. #EnoughIsEnough
— Domestic Violence (@DVHeartBreak) April 18, 2016
— Break the Chains (@BTCappDev) April 18, 2016
— Overty (@Overty_App) March 29, 2016
"Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light." – Norman B. Rice pic.twitter.com/ZDHuKqGnsd
— UnCut (@UnCutSSH) March 22, 2016
Download a Free Sample of Jennifer Gonzalez's Technology for Teachers 2016
Here's a PDF with some favorite apps and new ones too. Thanks Jennifer Gonzalez for creating this freebie just for Cool Cat Teacher Readers.
This PDF includes Storybird, Kahoot, Google Drive, Formative and Trello. See if the Teacher's Guide to Tech is Right for You!