Facing Facebook: Social media in and out of the classroom

by Stephanie Chasteen on August 21, 2010

Your students are already using tools like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, they’re often using them when you’d rather they’d be doing something else (like paying attention in class). How can we turn the potential obstacles of Web 2.0 and social media into an opportunity for effective teaching and learning?

I recently gave an overview talk at the American Association of Physics Teachers, sharing some techniques instructors are using for communicating with their students and each other, including class blogs, real-time aggregated conversations in class, tweeted answers to student questions, dedicated YouTube channels, wiki-based class contracts, and more. I did a lot of research for this talk, and wanted to share the fruits of my labor on this blog. I argued that by using these tools, rather than ignoring them, we can help students gain social media literacy skills. Thus, we may choose to leverage social media to promote conversation about things that we care about, using platforms that students find familiar and fun.

Below is the Prezi that accompanied this presentation.  I also recommend you check out the Diigo list of social media links that I made for the presentation — here you’ll find examples of class blogs, research articles on social media, and more. It’s a really useful list.

I wrote out the salient points from the presentation in my other blog at the Active Class.  I cover how students are using social media, strategies that instructors use to combat digital distraction in class, and then how they are using it to promote student/student collaboration, student/teacher communication, and their own professional learning.

And to end the presentation, I quoth:

If you want your students to tweet you well, then you need to tweet them well

Model good behavior in these forums, and participate in them. Don’t ask your students to do something that you’re not willing to engage in yourself.

Again, check out the Diigo list of social media links!


Gary White September 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Hi, Stephanie,
I thought your talk was excellent, and I really appreciate you bringing such an informed perspective to the session. Thanks, Gary

sciencegeekgirl September 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for the praise, Gary, I was very happy to be part of the session!

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