In the first post in this series, Social Media in the Classroom – Part 1, we took a look at creating safe, school-centered social networks. Now let’s take a look at spicing up your classroom homepage.
The typical classroom homepage has basic class information but is not a collaborative space with dynamic information. Social networks can save you from a static homepage and provide a place for student interaction.
Many school websites offer little functionality for classroom homepages. You may be able to post class information and maybe even assignments. However, the process of adding content is often cumbersome. Teachers can often be overheard saying, “I wish adding a test to the school website was as easy as Facebook.” In addition, school websites are notoriously difficult to add photos, audio and video. These are tasks easily handled on a social networking site. What about communication? Social networks are built for interaction; most school websites are not. Let’s look at a few options to change this dynamic.
Adding content as easily as Facebook? Well, it can be. In fact, depending on your school rules, you can use Facebook! Educators across the world are jumping right in and using Facebook as their class homepage. Of course, your students need to all have Facebook accounts, which they probably do, and they must be thirteen years old or older.
If you can’t or don’t want to use Facebook, create an account on one of the sites listed in Social Media in the Classroom – Part 1. You can easily have online discussions, event calendars and photo galleries.
Are you using social media in the classroom? Please post a comment below and let us know how it is working. And always, thank you so much for reading the educational technology blog, Teach Amazing!