We need to realize and accept the reality that social media has penetrated our lives. We can channel and reroute its inclusion, but it’s tough to keep it at bay completely. The point is, while you can control how children can use social media in the classroom, you have no authority once they are outside.
A good practice is to involve parents. They have the right to be aware of how their children are being educated, and what kind of tools are being used for their learning. Tell them how you plan to use social media and what kind of impact they can expect. Be willing to address their concerns regarding the same.
Involving parents can help you in partnering with them when your students use social media at their homes. It’s like sharing some of your responsibility with them. Also, parents naturally bring that personal touch, while tutoring their children, that can’t be delivered in schools.
Select the Right Platform
Strategizing the use of social media in classrooms can begin by selecting the right platform. All your planning could revolve around it. Depending on what grade of students you are handling, their subjects and requirements, you can narrow down on one or multiple platforms to make use of. Ensure that the targeted social media platform can help you in executing your course or curriculum in the manner you expect.
Moderate it well
Another point that goes without saying. You just can’t give a free hand to the students when it comes to social media, can you? Especially as teachers, you are entrusted with the task of proper guidance to students. It is your responsibility that the use of social media is not abused, especially at secondary levels. Of course, students are bound to make mistakes and that is natural. It is up to you as educators to ensure that students use social media with respect to their education. They can be progressively guided on how to use this medium for their own use.
Social media doesn’t just include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. There are many other platforms that provide a common ground for interaction with diversity. Teachers can create profiles on online communities like Quora, Discuss, Yahoo Answers, even LinkedIn, etc., to extend their teaching beyond classrooms and also encourage students to ask questions and answer them on such platforms.
Supervised use of such public forums can help students in expanding their horizons of learning from social media platforms. They can help expose students from different demographics to one another, understand different cultures and their way of life. Teachers and students can ask and have their education questions answered on such platforms through a more informal interaction. When appropriately used in such ways, social media can positively add a new dimension to classroom teaching.