Tips For Using Social and Digital Media In The Classroom

Alan BelniakGeneral, guidelines, Social Media, technology0 Comments

a modern-day classroom (as seen on http://www.SubjectivelySpeaking.net)A little while back, a friend and colleague of mine was looking for some advice.  He has teaching again at our alma mater, Babson College.  He wanted to approach the class a bit differently.  He wanted to incorporate some digital and social media elements into the class room to enhance and extend the learning.

 

Initially he thought about using solely a hashtag, but knew that they have a short shelf-life.  He even considered having a live stream during the class (but know that there are dangers with that, too).  How could he track usage and participation, he wondered.

 

I put together a short list of social media and digital media elements an educator can use in the classroom to enhance the learning.  I’m sharing that list below.

 

 

delicious

  • Find and share stuff in general; suggest that one consistent tag be the course number
  • Use delicious as a way to source reading for the week (let the students find interesting stuff as a supplement to what the educator prescribes)
  • Have students follow a feed or set of tags in delicious not related to the core topic at hand, and have them explain how the angle of the class’s core topic could be provided or applied

Wiki

  • Ignore the typical free stuff a school provides, and use a site like PBWorks or any of the free tools available
  • Have a group or make it a class exercise to mock up an outline of what a ‘living class summary’
    • Note: I did this when I was at Babson class and it was fun and educational
  • This could also be the basis of a longer-term work

 

Group blog

  • Volunteer or volun-tell  🙂 people to post a blog entry at the end of each class
  • The content lives on after the class is over, similar to a wiki
    • The main difference could be that the wiki is hidden to all, and only viewable to class participants
    • You could also make a wiki visible to all – I’m merely highlighting one difference here
  • This, in turn, can also be an item tagged in delicious
    • This is a good way to summarize what was learned and discussed
    • From there, it can be shared, tweeted, and the like

 

Twitter

  • Use a hashtag for the class (suggestion: course name, though no one outside of Babson will get the context)
  • Use some free Twitter tools to find and follow other people talking about the class’s core topic

 

 

 

If you’re an educator, have you used these?  Others?  Please let us know in the comments.  Are you a current or former student?  What was used in your classroom that you particularly liked or didn’t like?

 

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/osuvalleylibrary/463492446/

 

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