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Do you use Facebook or Twitter in the classroom (or know someone who does)?

by Kelly Walsh on February 16, 2011

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I’ll be presenting examples of classroom uses of social networking tools at the Campus Technology 2011 conference. Do you have a story you would like share?

If you’ve used Twitter or Facebook in the classroom successfully, and would be willing to have your story shared here on EmergingEdTech and possibly with CT 2011 conference attendees this summer, please let me know about it. If you know a teacher who has been using these apps, or any other social networking tools in the educational setting, please pass this post on to them.

I already have a good number of instructional uses of Twitter and Facebook to share in my presentation, but new examples are always welcomed. Naturally, the more clearly you can illustrate how using these tools engaged students and/or improved learning outcomes, the more impactful these stories will be, so please share a little about that if you can when you comment, or use the contact page, to submit your info. Don’t worry about writing anything elaborate – just drop a couple sentences to let me know what you’ve been up to, and we’ll work together to develop your story in writing.

I’ll be selecting responses to write about here, and choosing some to include in my presentation up in Boston in July. I look forward to hearing and sharing your story about Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Networking tools that you or a colleague have used successfully in the instructional setting!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Facebook as an Instructional Technology Tool
100 Ways to Teach With Twitter
Article about effective uses of social media in education

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

anabel drought July 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I work with a group of students with severe learning difficulties and Autism aged 16 – 19.
I am setting them up with Facebook accounts to help support their Literacy skills and to create social links outside of school.

@desertjul May 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm
Ana Dominguez April 15, 2011 at 2:57 am

I have been using twitter in the classrom for some time now, read about it here:

http://www.anadominguez.org/blog/twitter/

Adam Taylor February 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I use twitter with my students. We use it in class during lecture, students ask questions, answer questions, post sites related to subject. I also have students give one questions surveys and post responses from people on twitter.

K. Walsh February 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

Thanks to Jeanne Robinson and “Miss Night” for their great feedback. I’ve been corresponding with them both and intend to share elements of their work with presentation participants in July.

Please keep these stories coming readers. Thanks!

Miss Night February 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

I am a kindergarten teacher, using Twitter in my classroom as a tool to connect my students to a larger, international community, of kindergarteners. I blogged about it here: http://missnightmutters.blogspot.com/. Just recently the entire kindergarten team (4 teachers) at my school created twitter accounts for their classes, and we are using them as part of a “Kindergarten Around the World” virtual exchange project. I am happy to talk/write/share more about my experiences, which have been nothing but positive.
Also, the #kinderchat community on Twitter, recently discussed social media in kindergarten. You can find the link to the archive here: http://kinderchat-kinderchat.blogspot.com/2011/02/archive-to-tech-topic-integrating.html There are several teachers there who are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media with our youngest students.

Sorry to blather on — hope this helps!

Jeanie Robinson February 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I stumbled upon this use of twitter recently so, I thought I would share. I have an autistic child who constantly wants to blurt appropriate and inappropriate comments during our civics lessons. (I limit any lecture to 20 minutes.) He now tweets these comments which I receive on my phone. I can respond to the appropriate ones and ignore the rest. I don’t have to interrupt my teaching and he gets to blurt. Some of his comments are brilliant which allows me to give him genuine praise and positive attention when I read and then respond to those in class which is allowing me to model for him which types of comments are appropriate for the classroom setting.

Kristianstill February 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Smiley tweet by Pimpampum
Put words into context using twitter – if it is not blocked of course, with this nifty mashup tool. Helps student understand words and as a teacher you can discuss the validity of the examples rather than merely providing examples oneself.
(tags: English twitter define)

K. Walsh February 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

Thanks for this excellent, informed, and thorough feedback Dr. Oates. I absolutely agree that there is a lot more to social media for education than mass market tools like Facebook and Twitter, and intend to share some of these education-specific tools in my presentation. There is still a focus on Facebook and Twitter, precisely because they are so popular, but I absolutely want to share these other tools and the important ways in they differ from the popular general purpose apps. Thank you as well for explaining a bit about the TRUSTe certification – I’d seen that beore but didn’t really understand it’s meaning.

Candace Hackett Shively February 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

Free, ad-free Twitter in ed oppty for world cultures, languages, social studies classes: XW1W (Across the World Once a Week)
Collaborative Microblogging for Cross-Cultural Understanding. Just announced Feb 14. http://www.teachersfirst.com/xw1w.cfm
FAQ page (http://www.teachersfirst.com/XW1W-FAQ.cfm) tells how to start. CAN join even if no Twitter access at school. Pls RT to others tchrs.

Rita Oates, Ph.D. February 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

Would you consider sharing educational uses of social learning tools? By that I mean social network tools that were designed for educational use, not for the mass market.
Facebook and Twitter are mass market tools. Everyone has heard of them.
But how about the tools that are designed for safe use with K12 students, that don’t have privacy issues? You could talk about sites that observe FERPA (more important in universities) and COPPA and CIPA (critically important to follow in K12 education if an institution wants federal funding).
Some sites have TRUSTe certification, an independent assessment of their ability to provide privacy of student information.
See http://www.truste.com for some of the education-focused companies who are investing in social media strategies. Some of the companies who have earned TRUSTe certification are:
Cahootie
Brightstorm
Course Hero
Disney Internet
Education Planet
ePals
GoTrybe
Kidzrocket
Leafcutter
Leapfrog
Schoolwires
Thinkquest
Togetherville
Vantage Learning
“Using social media in the classroom” is a whole lot more than using Facebook and Twitter. Those mass market sites create problems that are not present when you are using social media tools designed for use in education. Now THAT would be a really interesting session!
Two very interesting and large scale examples are:
1. International Baccalaureate is NOT using Facebook. They licensed ePals LearningSpace as a web 2.0 social media platform. They have rolled it out this school year with MYP and DP schools (aka middle and high schools) and with all their teachers. They have groups for various classes (IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Art History, etc.) across 140 countries. Now THAT is a really interesting example of social media used for learning. See a 3-minute video about it: http://bit.ly/IBvideo or check out the public part of the site: http://ibo.epals.com.

2. Heinle textbook company has created an online community for their English learners to practice with native English speakers, again NOT in Facebook but in a social learning platform designed for safe use in schools. http://heinle.epals.com

These two are both great examples of how dedicated educators are moving the bar on social media in education, going way beyond the limited and flawed offerings of Facebook for schools. Hope you can include them in your talks!

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