Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have become a quotidian part of our daily lives. However, these same social media outlets can be used as academic tools and learning resources. Here are some ideas to help your student take advantage of social technologies and the wealth of information and networking opportunities they have to offer.
Create a public profile that showcases your personal research and academic interests to a wider audience. Other students, as well as teachers and professors, can access the information, provide feedback on postings, and help students to find research and internship opportunities that are aligned with their interests.
Students can create study groups with their friends on Google+ Hangouts. Google can also be used as a platform to research academic disciplines as far ranging as math to literature to science.
Google Docs is a great platform for students to work collaboratively with their peers, as well as submit their writing online to their teachers. Teachers can also access documents and provide live, in the moment feedback to students directly in their documents as they are working. Students feel connected to their peers when they collaborate on writing projects; they also have opportunities to communicate with their teachers when receiving timely feedback.
Students can write blogs as a way to reflect, share their stories and thoughts, and form connections with peers, while following other bloggers who may focus on academic or creative topics of interest. Blogging can be considered a vital outlet for students by encouraging them to engage in more self-directed learning. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mill Creek Academy’s blog!
Students can create visual and audio podcasts that demonstrate their learning. It is also a useful instructive classroom tool in which students can edit and publish their own work. In doing so, it develops agency and ownership in students, which are qualities that will foster intrinsic motivation.
Twitter is a great tool for followers to access and collect information, but students can also follow other people’s networks, such as leaders and professionals in various fields of study. They can discover new information that is educational and current, while tapping into new networks. Like blogs, Twitter can be a platform for students to share their ideas, reflections, and thoughts, as well as enable them to connect with other Twitter followers and field experts as a source of inspiration. Students can build upon their own networks grounded in strong links that can push their learning in new directions. Follow Mill Creek on Twitter @MCAEducates
YouTube is an online platform where students can upload and video share with other peers. It is an engaging resource where students can access and participate in sharing and providing feedback to one another. Students themselves, as well as their classmates and teachers, can access their filmed products. Similarly, YouTube videos can be used as a supplemental media tool in the classroom by providing additional information about a range of disciplines.
Social Media, when channeled and utilized for the enhancement of education, invites students to tap into technological resources that open lines of communication between friends and with a much larger audience.