In these days of the iGeneration, teachers need to adapt to technology in order to compete for their students’ attention with the newest technological gadgets. To do this, teachers should embrace social media in the classrooms. Used effectively, social media like Facebook can become an incredibly resourceful educational tool.
Facebook has the bad reputation of creating a severe dependency among its users. However, if its use is supervised, it can become an incredible educational tool. Facebook allows teachers many interesting possibilities to improve the classroom participation of their students. I bet you are currently asking yourself: how can that be? How can encouraging students to spend even more time than they already are spending on the internet a good thing? Here are a few reasons.
Facebook is more accessible. Let’s face it. Students spend most of their time looking at their cellphone screens. Why not take this opportunity to have school related information directly in their back pocket.
Facebook can be used to gather all the information in one place. Who looks at an agenda, a course syllabus or all those different e-mails anymore? Sometimes having to search in too many places for different information can be so overwhelming that the person just stops looking. Having a Facebook group means that everything can be found in one place. As a teacher you can post due dates, readings, assignments, reminders and polls.
Facebook facilitates sharing. It becomes easier for the teacher to send documents, files and readings to their students. Students can also share their work with their peers.
Students have room for feedback. They can create discussions or polls. They can also post articles, readings, websites and blogs that are related with what is being studied. It is also a good place for them to ask any questions they may encounter.
Parents love it too. You can use Facebook to send messages to parents. Parents can read the information found on the Facebook group to know what their child is seeing in class. They can find information regarding the upcoming homework. If you allow it, they can even use this social media to directly ask questions to the teacher.
The endless possibilities allowed by Facebook enable you to jazz up any classic activity! Whether you host an online book club session, have a virtual pet day (sharing picture of a pet instead of bringing the pet in causes less trouble and it can be less scary for some students) or you can even give penpalling a go by connecting with another classroom around the world. These are but few of many creative ways Facebook can liven up any activity.
Do you need help to build your own Facebook group for your classroom? Check this out.