Social Media in Classrooms

Monday, February 28, 2011

In this day in age, professors have many options on how they should teach their classes. Journalism professors specifically get to use this to their advantage by applying social media in their own classroom. I will describe a few innovative methods of social media that professors are trying in the classroom. Keep in mind that not every tool mentioned will be appropriate for your class.

Facebook groups: This allows students to post ideas, links, videos and photos. The information that is posted on the group’s wall stays only between the members of that group. This tool is very beneficial because many students today already use Facebook. In other words, it doesn’t make a student go out of their way by having to remember a log-in or attend a class forum.
There are three different types of groups: open, closed and secret. “Open” groups are available to the public, “closed” groups keep content private but members within the group are allowed to see it and “secret” do not show up anywhere.
Group Blogs: This type of social media allows students to adapt to online writing and basic web publishing. Students can post assignments that let their teacher and classmates see.
1. Tumblr: A new fad that is simple and described to stand between Twitter feed and WordPress blog.
2. Posterous: This is similar to Tumblr, but has a few additional differences, being that it allows you to post text, photos or videos via e-mail. This allows students with a Smartphone to be able to blog at any time, any place.

Social Curation: Important tool that lets students collect social media information for their blogs or articles.
1. Storify/Keepstream are both designed around distinct compilation of content.
2. An ongoing curation. In other words, it covers live-events or long-term collaboration. This program is more highly looked upon because the privacy features allow limited access to certain projects.

Mind mapping: a program that arranges ideas based on their relationship to other elements through online collaboration.
1. MindMeister: The mind map tracks updates based on student’s opinions. For example, a professor asked his students to define journalism, multimedia and organize how each element related to each other. Mind map tracked the updates as the class discussed the definitions. This allows the students to interact together in class, instead of looking at the whiteboard.

Experimentation: Although some professors may find these tools not useful, it is important to at least try and experiment using new social media because it allows journalist students to apply themselves even further and improve their online abilities.

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Erin Gerken March 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM  

I think that social media can definitely be beneficial to classes in the fact that it allows students to connect easier outside of the classroom. But I also think it can be kind of a problem. Some students are not as professional on social media sites as they would be in a classroom. Also, it is much easier for a student to get distracted when classes have an online component. I know I always have that problem when trying to do an assignment on Scholar. There is just so much stuff online that I could be doing other than my assignments.

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