Social Media: Use in the Classroom


The key point of social media is that it is user generated information. Most students have access to social media, if not on a personal phone than through the phone of a friend. Students are not limited by equipment or complicated technology. They are interpreting interfaces that they regularly use for classroom activities. It actually may help them engage more readily with reading material if it comes in a form they are constantly in contact with. Youtube could be a place for students to publish their class projects about a novel. Putting a synopsis of a book online, a reenactment, or a thinkpiece allows users from anywhere around the world to access a student’s idea. Instead of seeing how classmates interpret a book, students can see how people from various communities find their interpretation. This could be novel in areas where it seems like one idea or theme dominated the class discussion when another theme stood out from someone else.

The process of making work that can be published is also helpful for students to digest and critique information. On Instagram, for example, users put a lot of time into the images that they upload – trying to craft a perfect image or idea. On Youtube, users want a video that is mostly error free. Students have the time to rehearse, re-watch, and learn from their mistakes in the process of putting something online.