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Former Teacher Offers Four Social Media Tools to Use in the Classroom

Former Teacher Offers Four Social Media Tools to Use in the Classroom

Social media sites are not just for viewing at home--educators can create powerful lessons using Twitter, Pinterest and more.

So says Allie Gross, a writer for, and former fifth grade social studies and language arts teacher, who offers teachers four social media tools teachers can take advantage of to use in the classroom. 

One of the tools, according to the article, is Twitter. Gross said teachers can use Twitter "as a class" and "students can set up an account and determine a bunch of "experts" to follow."

"If you're a biology teacher, are there certain scientists, professors, or journalists that you think would be fun to follow?" said Gross. "Or maybe if you're a language arts teacher, there are authors of interest. Twitter is a great way to discover facts and news, and to gather interesting ideas from fascinating people."

"Additionally, why not let students live tweet class?" Gross said. "Each week, pick a different student to be your scribe. Their responsibility is tweeting important facts, quotes, and ideas raised in class. This use of Twitter has two benefits: You can teach students the beauty of brevity and how to synthesize information in 140 characters or less, and you'll also create a record of what students have learned in class. Come exam time, students can go back to the Twitter account to review what is then essentially a study guide, as well as what day in their corresponding notes they should flip to for certain information or keywords."

Another social media tool Gross offers, is for teachers to use Pinterest. Gross said with Pinterest, teachers can "learn a lot from images."

"We can learn a lot from images. One amazing activity for encouraging critical thinking is a game called 'Gap Fill In,' where students are shown a picture and must then write down, very simply in two sentences or less, what they believe is happening in the photo," Gross said. "The activity not only forces students to use evidence, but supports meta cognition skills by asking what prior knowledge brought them to their conclusion. Creating a Pinterest with a bunch of potential 'Gap Fill In' images is a great way to have a curated, accessible selection of activity-appropriate images. Maybe for homework, students pick an image and do the exercise from home. Or maybe students upload their own images and quiz each other."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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