11 percent of kids get their first social media account by the age of 10. By the age of 12, 39% of kids have a social media account. Of teenagers 13-17, 98% use a social media platform according to a survey by the research center. During the pandemic social media became a way for teachers to interact with students because of at home teaching and learning. The benefits of using social media included making students feel more engaged in learning, creating deeper connections with their teachers, and expanding their learning community beyond their schools. Because social media is so widely used by students, it may be beneficial to use the resource in your classroom. Here are a few ways you can do that.
- Use a Facebook group for updates and announcements.
Have the students join the class’s Facebook group and the teacher can post updates. Students can also comment any questions or concerns they have. We recommend that you make the group private so that random people on Facebook don’t try to join.
- Use a Facebook group to stream live lectures and host discussions.
When using social media for education it’s imperative that you keep a professional boundary. Teachers should not send friend requests to students. Email both parents and students a direct link to the Facebook group for access.
- Use Twitter as an announcement board.
Lets be real, those school calendars you printed out most likely are at the bottom of a backpack. Let parents and students know what’s coming up in the school or classroom by posting to twitter. Again, don’t use a personal twitter. Create a new classroom account.
Have students create their own blogs for essays or any form of writing assessment.
- Create a classroom Pinterest board.
Instructors can create a board for each of their classrooms and save pins that are relevant to the lessons. You can also post how-to’s for assignments.
- Link your accounts on the school website.
Make it easier for students and parents to find your classroom social media accounts by linking them to the school website. This way you won’t have students asking you a million times where the account is.
- Create a social media crisis strategy.
A social media account could come in very handy in a crisis situation. Most schools have automated messaging alerts but being able to provide your classroom and your students’ parents with instructions during a crisis would be highly appreciated.
- Never post pictures of your students on social media.
- Don’t share personal information on social media such as the name and location of your school or students’ names.
- Don’t direct message students through social media. Have them email your school email account instead. Professional boundaries can easily be crossed when using an informal form of communication like Instagram DMs.