Not-so-social media in the classroom
Darren Butler recently published a blog about using student blogs in the classroom. He suggests that teachers who seek web security begin by creating “Blog Walls,” where teachers can have students display their written work on a wall of the classroom. Once the teacher is prepared to introduce technology, students can use various apps and websites that cater to the needs of student security.
I’ve done a little research of my own, and found some valuable sites educators can use to engage their students’ natural curiosity and desire to learn.
5- Minute Film Fest
Edutopia encourages small film contests, which encourage students to break out of their comfort zone, hop away from the desk, and get their hands on film technology. In today’s digital society, more schools are adapting 1-to-1 initiatives and introducing their students to web-based work. Why? Students go home and play on YouTube for hours. They learn coding in video games, simply because they are curious enough to learn the composition of virtual characters. Students are most engaged when they take ownership of their work. Film projects give students the opportunity to create their own movie, and use tactile methods of learning an arts-focused medium. Read here to learn more from another educator who uses these festivals.
Using classtools.net/twister, students have the ability to create their own fake tweets. All they need to do is follow the link, fill out the required fields, and watch their tweet pop up online. Teachers can print these out and have students post them on a board. Monday through Thursday, students could “tweet” their favorite thing they’ve learned in class this week. Friday, the teacher can host a “tweets of the week” section for those who best explain their favorite lesson.
In the same way, students can use Class Tools to create a fake Facebook page. Once they’ve generated a few posts, they can upload a profile picture. Students are able to use a locked down generator that provides the look and feel of Facebook, with the security of classroom walls.
In the same way, Schoology’s social/updates feed can be used like a Facebook page for students. They can upload pictures, share YouTube links, and more.
Discovery Education offers a database of endless resources for various subjects. Not only can you mine through games, free lesson plans, and bulletin board ideas, but you can take your students on a virtual field trip, to break up the daily lesson routine.
TeacherTube.com is a free service for anyone; it is purposed to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. Here, you can find instructional videos, and clips to inspire your students to achieve more.
This site hosts games covering all subject areas, for grades 1-12. Your students can use computer time to complete these activities. They will have more fun practicing concepts through these games, and ultimately learn more than they would while filling out worksheet related materials.