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Social Media 101 for Educators Beyond Just Twitter & Facebook

If you’re not utilizing social media to communicate with your class yet, you might be missing a great opportunity to fully engage both your students and your community.

Since social media now includes much more than just Facebook and Twitter, Education World has created this resource to show you how some educators are successfully using students’ favorite apps to engage them in classroom content.


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Snapchat: Why the “Story” Function is Your Friend

The premise behind the increasingly popular mobile phone application is that users can send pictures to friends through 10 second shots that disappear instantly or update their personal “stories" with photos and videos that are accessible for 24 hours.

While this might not instantly scream “great learning tool!” at you, you’d be surprised. Specifically, the “story” function can be a great way to encourage students’ to learn outside of the classroom.

For instance, NPR featured a story on how New York science teacher Michael Britt posts real-life examples of what he’s teaching in the class to his Snapchat story, a helpful tool for students especially while preparing for tests.

Think about all the times you’re outside of the classroom and think of how well something relates to what you’re teaching. The Snapchat “story’ function lets you post these moments immediately for your students to share. Even if it’s just for 10 seconds at a time, students will be thinking about learning even on weekends, days-off and those long summer months.


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Instagram: Why Your School Should Have One

Community and parental engagement is such an important thing, Believe it or not, Instagram is a surprisingly great app to use in order to inform the community about what your school is doing through pictures.

Check out this perfect example from The Harvey School.

The Harvey School creates collages to showcase school pride and let the community know about events:


Instagram is also a great way to post highlights from class trips, projects, and the like. If you haven’t yet, you definitely should, whether you’re an administrator or an educator.


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Twitter: Why You Should Expand Your Horizons

By now, you’ve probably already had some experience with the social media giant that is Twitter. You’ve probably heard or experienced first-hand how beneficial it can be for peer collaboration and networking.

But one of the best things about Twitter in its simplicity is thart it is incredibly versatile and leaves you with so many possibilities to inspire learning outside of your classroom.

Here are some examples of how educators have used Twitter in unique ways to engage students:

Tweet reminders about classroom events like due dates and trips. It’s super easy to do and has been known to help students not forget about assignments.

  • Ask students to reflect on classroom lessons and activities with a Tweet at the end of the period. It’s a simple and accessible way for students to practice reflection.
  • Have students summarize classroom readings in Twitter’s 140 character count. The limit will have students get creative in getting the main point.
  • On that similar note, have students use hashtags to describe lessons. Trust us on this, your students love hashtags, so they’ll love getting to use them in class.

Questions? Let us know! And we’d love to here how you use social media in your classroom! Let us know in the comment section below.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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