A simple question shows the Power of Social Media

Throughout the year I have made an effort to integrate technology and Social Media into the education and learning of my students. As a class we worked with Twiducate and Edmodo. Although these have allowed students to get their feet wet and learn some of the uses of Social Media in learning, it remained limited in really revealing to my students how fun, exciting, interactive and informative it could be. . . until yesterday.

For those that have been following my students and I are learning about the Inuit and the Arctic in our Social Studies class. We were going over some of the historical information about the Inuit and the Arctic, when one of my students made a simple statement.

“It would be great if we could talk to  someone who lived there.”

Instantly, a light bulb went off in my head, because of Twitter. One of the members of my PLN, Brian (@Nunavut_Teacher) lives in and teaches in Iqaluit. That evening I touched base with Brian and asked him if he would answer some of my students’ questions.

This morning as the students arrived I had them think of 2 or 3 questions they would like to ask. I also informed my teaching partner Melissa – @missmissa008 and asked them to join. To view most of the conversation please check out #BBNU using twitter. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation.

This was just the beginning of our conversation and questions. Our full session lasted  roughly 35 minutes. During this time the kids asked about everything, even what Brian’s favorite food was and whether or not he played video games. (Thanks again Brian)

This was a great experience and learning opportunity, both for my students, and Melissa’s students. It allowed students to understand that information and learning does not only come from text; that learning can happen across vast distances. Using Twitter showed students the benefits of social media and how it can be used in class. Most of all, it was an engaging activity that had all the students reading and asking questions.

If there is any doubt in the mind of an educator about the positive uses and applications of Social Media in the classroom, I hope that this has provided clarity and evidence that this is a tool that can be used to engage learning while removing the walls of our classroom, and allowing the world to enter.

Also, for those who are hesitant to change and add technology to their classroom I ask why would you deny your students this type of learning and experience?





8 thoughts on “A simple question shows the Power of Social Media

  1. I love that you allowed your students to make that connection. No doubt it made it “real” for them. I’d like to do something similar but I’m thinking of using Skype. Thoughts?

    • Elaine, I think that using Skype would be a great idea, as not only can you communicate real time but you can see the people you are interacting with. I am waiting on some pieces of technology so that I may start doing exactly the same thing.
      I have spoken with a few teachers in my PLN that have used Skype and they have said that it is great and an amazing experience. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about how your experience goes.
      Thanks again for commenting.

  2. I’ve used Skype to connect with the authors of books we’ve read for class. It really does make the material more meaningful to the students when they participate in a Q&A with the author-they are much more likely to read the book! 🙂

    • So very true Delaney, I am looking forward to getting my classroom setup to SKYPE with other classrooms and resources such as authors. I like the fact that it opens the classroom and allows students to experience the information that we are providing them with.

      Thank you for commenting

  3. Hi Shawn,

    I much enjoyed the conversation I had with all of you yesterday. I agree totally when you say, “It [Twitter] allowed students to understand that information and learning does not only come from text; that learning can happen across vast distances.” Hopefully, the next time my students will be present for the conversation and ask questions, too.

    • I look forward to the next time we communicate class to class. I think that both of our students would really enjoy interacting with each other and learning from each other.
      Thanks again for taking the time to talk to my students.

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