Academic journal article The Science Teacher

A Social Media Primer

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

A Social Media Primer

Article excerpt

As we head back to school, we should learn how to leverage social media tools to our students' advantage. Social media allow users to create, view, and distribute text, pictures, images, and video via websites or apps. People you join up with over social media are your network. When someone posts something on a social media site, their network (or "followers") can see it, comment on it, and share it with their own network. An item is said to go "viral" when it is passed among multiple networks in an exponential fashion.

Before you start sharing, you'll need to open an account. Review the legal terms of service, especially when involving students. Many sites require that users be 13 or older to create an account. Students should be instructed about safe and appropriate use (see our column, "Protecting Students' Online Privacy--By Law" in last December's issue). Make your content easier to find by adding hashtags, such as "#makerspace" or "#NSTA." Now let's look at the main social media tools.

Facebook: In this, the most popular social media site, you "friend" someone (who must accept your friend request) to have them join your network. Friends can comment on each others' posts or simply click a "like" button to signal approval. Teachers can create a "fan" page on Facebook that their students can access without the teacher needing to "friend" the students (a practice that is not recommended). Teachers simply create the page, and students can begin following the content.

Blogs: This early social media tool allows users to post content, with the most recent post appearing at the top of the stream. Readers can comment on the original post or on the comments of others. Common blogging tools include Blogger (www.blogger.edu), WordPress (www.wordpress. com), and EduBlogs (www.edublogs.com). Many teachers use blogs to have students chronicle events during a project.

Twitter: Here, posts, or tweets, to one's "followers" can be only 140 characters long. Teachers can post links and reminders to students and colleagues and can follow trending news. Here's a tip: Teachers can tweet students who don't have a Twitter account by having them text "Follow @TeacherUsername" to the phone number 40404. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.