Social Media in the Classroom

For many students, social media and the classroom go together quite well.  When students are bored in class, they log onto Facebook or Twitter to pass some time.  However, students might have a new reason to go to these sites. More and more teachers are using social media in the classroom for a variety of purposes.

The article discusses how some instructors are using social media, specifically Pinterest.  For example, one professor at the University of Minnesota is requiring students in her media graphics class to use the site with their activity being factored into their participation grade.  She “likes” and “repins” certain items she wants her students to pay attention to.  Another professor at Minnesota State University is requiring students to create text/multimedia packages through Pinterest and post them to the class blog.

Teachers are also using social media to share tips, get ideas for lessons as well as a place to assemble a group of materials for students to access.

As for students, the sites can be used to inspire, increase participation, and help them in telling stories.   Additionally, study groups can easily manage research materials found online.

Do you think social media can be beneficial for both students and teachers or do you think the university provided tools (ie – Blackboard) are sufficient enough?  What is the best way to use these sites for educational purposes?

Have you used social media for any of your classes?  If so, which sites did you use?


10 thoughts on “Social Media in the Classroom

  1. I am a Director at the law school where I supervise the Faculty Support department and I was in a meeting earlier this week with a group of professors. Generally, the feeling I get is that they are not thrilled that students bring laptops to class and therefore probably wouldn’t want to promote the use of social media for their courses. I don’t mean to generalize as the sample of professors was small (around 20). The reason appears to be two-fold: either students are too busy typing every single word the professor says to really grasp the material and to actively participate in the discussion or the professor fears that the students are on a social media site and not paying attention. Many professors therefore ban laptops in class, so the idea of professors utilizing social media (especially the older faculty), in my estimation, seems a world away from where we are now….at least at Fordham Law. Of course, a professor could still utilize social media for their courses while banning laptops in the classroom, but social media seems to be a turnoff for many professors.

  2. I see social media use “in the classroom” perfectly okay, this is the world that we live in and these are new tools that are available. However I say “in the classroom” because I don’t think we should be wasting time having students re-pin and create discussion boards, it should be used as an extension of the classroom. The only class I’ve ever used social media in, is this one and we use it as an extension of the classroom to generate conversation and facilitate discussion on current topics. I would not feel I would be getting the value of my tuition if I sat on pinterest for 20 minutes of class.

    Blackboard is definitely a big help with school work and documentation, not having that in undergrad, you notice a difference, mostly inconvenience. However there are things that a tool from blackboard can learn from social media to become more user friendly or allow for better two way communication. Its message board format (used in Media & Comm class) is not great or easy to use at all. It would be good if they integrated a blog into it, we could still operate this blog but it could be integrated in blackboard so classmates did have to create user IDs and learn how to use wordpress. It could have a twitter or status element, if the professor is late/class is cancelled/grades are posted, they could post it on blackboard and students would see it immediately. There’s definitely room for growth with SM and education.

    I am not sure how social media would fit in with law school curriculum, but older professors do need to get over the no laptop/computers in the classroom. If they don’t think students are using the laptop the right way walk around the class or call them out. Students using laptop/iPad/notebook is all by preference and is how the student thinks they’ll succeed the best. It’s time to break these habits its 2012.

  3. I definitely think social media can be beneficial for classes. Social platforms allow for a great space in which to share because of the ease of uploading and accessing. Outside of classrooms it seems to me the best resource available for the sharing of information. Depending on how the info is being shared online, it could allow for additional contributing info from outside classroom sources allowing for a more enriched educational experience.

  4. I think blackboard is almost enough. There are nearly all kinds of applications that a class might need: file sharing, discussion board, online exam, grade checking, etc. As long as some need to be upgraded, I see blackboard as a great tool for university to utilize.
    There’s nothing could stop social media become a part of the class. Look now we are just discussing on this wordpress blog. Last semester, the Television Industry course also had a blog for students and professor to share industry news and their own thoughts online. I understand that some conservative professors do not feel well to see laptops or ipads in class considering what Christian said. But we all believe that this is the trend of future class. Typing is faster than writing something down when taking notes of the class. Yet if you feel better with pen and paper, go with it. This is just a personal choice for students.

  5. Social media is definitely a beneficial tool for students and teachers. Not only because it provides another great way to share information and foster interaction among teachers and students after class, it also easily reminds students of using these platforms in terms of so many social media apps for mobile devices. Although “blackboard” also has its mobile app version, most students would find it a more serious way to participate in class discussion. However, for social media sites like Pinterest or WordPress, students would feel more comfortable and would be more willing to interact on these tools just like how they use in their daily life. Also, given social media sites present content more visually, I think it would be a future trend to use in education realm just like PPT becomes so common today.

  6. I think utilizing social media/new technology for education is fantastic and i believe it will become a new trend. Especially for classes like design, media and technology, social media sites can provide new angles and inspirations for students. But at the same time i agree with Anthony that “I would not feel I would be getting the value of my tuition if I sat on pinterest for 20 minutes of class.” Thus, i think using social media as a subsidiary tool for education is a better idea. Educators should fully use the resources on those sites to interact with students.

  7. Example of social media in the classroom: Social Media Class – weekly blogs.

    Definaltely see the benefit of using this in other classes, however it may be difficult to set parameters on how to grade usage.

  8. The professor at U of M sounds a lot like us posting to a weekly blog. I think it makes perfect sense that if you are in a social media class to be required to use a social site as if you’re in a graphic design class you should be using a picture site. This is the first class I have used social media for and I think it enhances the class, but not sure how how social an accounting class can be. I have used google docs for some team projects but this is the extent of the socialness. I think this would be a great additional feature to blackboard or an opportunity for more niche sites, such as a marketing or finance network.

  9. This is nothing new. Learning experts from designers to instructors have been trying to embrace social media for a while, at least in relation to online learning something that hasn’t been fully explored at Fordham GBA. I think platforms like Blackboard are useful, but as someone mentioned above there needs to be more interactivity and that’s what social media can offer. If you want an example of social media and learning check out #lrnchat on Twitter.

  10. Social media offers a special form of education that we seldom knew and used before. Considering its great convenience and high efficiency, we have a reason to integrate online learning into traditional education. But it is just a tool and platform, unable to totally take responsibility as a teacher.

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