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How to Teach Students While Increasing Their Social Networks

Social networks have many uses, and every day, users are discovering new and exciting ways of making them integral to daily life. But as the viral gospel of social media continues to spread, the education industry has been left to debate whether full-fledged adoption is the best way forward.

On the one hand, students are conversant with them, which means they might use them more readily in the classroom. Yet, it’s no secret that social networks can be disruptive and even a nuisance when wrongly implemented.

While social networks can seem intimidating, they are here to stay, and leveraging them for teaching and instruction is a wise move. Knowledge on how to teach students in an age where social networks are increasing is an asset that every educator should have.

Hold Classroom Group Sessions on Facebook

Facebook (FB) is one of the most popular social networks, and for teachers, it can be a great tool for group activities. A favorite feature on Facebook is the ability to create a group for anything, including a class unit for your students. With such a group on your lesson plan, you can keep students engaged by making class materials, lectures, and discussions easy to initiate.

Start by identifying whether all students and their parents can use Facebook to get underway. Some students might not have smart devices because their parents are reserved about their use. After getting the ‘green light,’ proceed with creating a private group where your students can interact easily and safely. Facebook groups can become an excellent base for offline and online courses when well implemented.

Start Critical Discussions on Twitter Message Boards

Critical thinking and communication are integral to any learning process, and Twitter is one social network that fits the bill. As a platform that provides a 280 character limit per message, teachers can teach kids how to communicate effectively.

Using Twitter is easy since you only need to create a new handle, and you are good to go. You can organize Twitter discussions and chats on topics explored in the classroom when the channel is up. These activities can teach students the value of research and timely posting, beneficial skills in real life. Other activities that can be useful for learners include using famous tweets as learning and analysis opportunities.

Encourage Student Collaboration with Pinterest

While teaching, educators emphasize the value of independence and problem-solving skills. While most platforms offer great opportunities to develop these skills, none works better than Pinterest. With Pinterest, it’s easy to create lists and integrate them into lessons by creating boards and pins.

For a teacher, Pinterest is useful when students require reading lists that they can reference later. You can easily share your list of resources and any other information you consider valuable with the platform. When the boards have resources pinned from all across the web, learning is as easy as clicking the Pinterest icon. Gradually, Pinterest can boost connectivity and collaboration between teachers, parents, and students since the potential of content are endless.

Publish Original Educational Content on YouTube

YouTube is home to millions of hours of valuable content; from TED Talks to literal classroom sessions, there is something for every course. Teachers can take advantage of YouTube to teach learners how to create and consume educational content as they learn.

When teaching, you can challenge students to watch videos on specific topics and respond to them in their presentations. Since videos can be interactive, students can debate with each other on the efficiency of presentations and relevance to what they have studied. While maintaining a YouTube can be a huge commitment, the investment can create great benefits for your learners.

Have Fun, Connect with Your Students

There are many examples of best practices on using social networks in classrooms. As an educator, it’s within your purview to determine the types that work best for your teaching goals. While fears that social media can disrupt classroom dynamics are valid, it’s also a fact that these platforms have benefits that we can’t ignore.

Social networks teach communication, collaboration, research, literacy, and reading skills in ways that are fun and easy to digest. As you navigate teaching in the social network age, judge each site not by its popularity but by its ability to become helpful to learners. If you can have fun along the way, that’s all the better.

Written by Simon Riitho
Education World Contributor
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