Curated Pinterest Board: http://pin.it/33IFWwg
Social media is definitely here to stay; however, the opposition to keeping it out of the classroom is too. While looking for educational projects that incorporated social media, my mind was buzzing with ideas about Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogging. My search results though were not quite as prolific. I struggled to find the kind of projects that I was looking for and was shocked by how little I actually found. It always seemed that when I wasn’t looking for an activity that involved blogging, posting, or tweeting that they were everywhere, yet when I was actually searching, they were nowhere to be found.
Despite my searching struggles, I found ten educational assignments that incorporate social media in some pretty excellent ways. In particular, I really liked the idea of students creating and maintaining a wiki as an ongoing research project. Research papers can be time-consuming and dull; however, creating something like a wiki and maintaining its accuracy is a fun, technology twist to a traditionally paper-based assignment. Additionally, I had never thought of using Snapchat in my classroom, but I really like the idea of creating stories and vlogs to demonstrate language learning (i.e. vocabulary). I have seen projects where students take pictures of their vocabulary words being used in the “real world” but Snapchat seemed to be a more modern way to implement that project. Or, using Snapchat to record create vlogs (mini character diary entries) would be an easy way to get students to be creative. Snapchat videos are so short, so students would be more likely to assume their character’s perspective.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Skype have more familiar in-class usages to me. I do really like the idea of creating a Pinterest board related to a topic. It would be a very engaging preview activity. Visuals always work! I realized when I was creating my own Pinterest board for this assignment that students can create their own version of our textbook by creating a board for each major topic or novel that we discuss in class. What an excellent activity and way for students to demonstrate knowledge!
After my research about Skype activities, I realize how much more I should be using it in my classroom. It seems like there are already communities of classrooms utilizing Skype to connect and communicate. In particular, I would like to look into the author Skype with my class. We read several YA novels, and I think it would delight my students to be able to interview and report on what the author has to say about their novels.