If you haven’t tried any social media tools for yourself yet, Richard Crossland has some inspired suggestions that could bring something new to the classroom and enrich your pupils’ learning experience…
1. Tweet characters to life
At key points during group reading sessions ask pupils to create tweets about what characters might say next. As the plot evolves the tweets can be re-visited to see if the students’ predictions were right.
What would Romeo say to Juliet about their future after their secret wedding?
What would Juliet say to Romeo after she finds out about Tybalt?
2. Discuss the day’s news
Follow relevant news hubs on Facebook and Twitter and discuss a few key stories every morning with your class – can they share further details of the story before you click the link for more information?
3. Tell the world
Set up a class or school blog to share news, updates and thoughts with parents, the local community and the world. Share responsibility for the writing, images, voice recordings and links between the students.
4. Ask the expert
Set up a live Q & A on Twitter, or use a Skype session with an expert on the topic you’re studying – so if you’re working on a school newspaper, you might try to organise for a journalist to answer questions on best practice and share hints and tips.
Use http://education.skype.com/ to search for and talk to experts, share ideas and create amazing learning experiences with teachers from around the world.
5. It’s all about numbers
Analyse and understand algorithms using Facebook and Twitter ‘trending topics’ as examples. This can support numeracy as well as improve computer programming skills, and with Will.i.am and JLS tweets appearing on a regular basis, there’s always something for everyone.
6. History today
Modernise the heroes of history – if you’re studying the Romans, task students to create Facebook profiles of the characters, challenge them to link Google Maps to show where they were based, encourage them to think about which brands their figure would have ‘liked’ and why?
7. Collaborate to create a story
Create a story using tweets from every student – how quickly can a plot unfold in 140 character bursts? If it’s a literacy lesson, perhaps each tweet will need to include a different adjective?
8. Geography uncovered
When learning about a specific country, task the class to search social media platforms to find content to help produce a list of hidden gems and funny factoids about the country. Encourage them to link to weather reports, Google Maps and local groups on Facebook. Share your success on Twitter.
9. Blow your trumpet
Create your school’s success hashtag and celebrate achievements with the world – a fantastic way to reach prospective students and keep parents updated. A great example is: #CroftonSchoolSuccessStream
10. Go global
Social media isn’t just a UK phenomenon – students learning a new language can practise with native speakers by finding ‘exchange’ students on Twitter, Skype or Facebook.
About the expert
Richard Crossland is an education specialist at RM education for more inspiring classroom ideas book your free Real Centre workshop at RM Education in Abingdon to see how the integrated design of furniture and technology can provide flexibility and extend the range of activities to support a more learner-centred approach (rm.com/real)
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