I have never truly understood or thought about using social media in the classroom. This is probably because I am hoping to be able to work with grades K-2 after graduation, and I cannot imagine students this young on Twitter or writing blog posts. My uncle, a 10th grade social studies teacher, uses social media outlets in order to engage his students in what they are learning. For example, he uses a Twitter account to remind his students about the homework assigned for the night or to post links of some interesting articles he found. Before doing research, I was close-minded and thought that social media is a great tool and technique to be used for upper level grades.
According to Mrs. Wideen in her post entitled, “Using Social Media as a Teaching Tool,” social media can be used for 2nd and 3rd grades, despite popular belief. On her site, she shows examples of how social media has positively impacted her class of second and third graders. Mrs. Wideen proves that social media can be a great teaching tool. There is something so validating for students to be able to take ownership of their work and display it through a media outlet for others, or just classmates, to see. The use of social media is also helpful for parents to know what their children are learning in class. For example, parents could “follow” their child and his or her teacher on Twitter to see the interactions. Another point that supports the use of social media in the classroom is that students get used to working and using these types of published media. I think this is, in a way, a preventative measure for the students. Children will be safe on these monitored media sites and will be given opportunities to learn about what (and what is not) appropriate and acceptable to post for others to see. Hence, making them take social media more seriously.
I am still unsure if I would use social media in my future classroom; however, the article from Mrs. Wideen and her success with it for her class does persuade me to be more opened minded to it!