Ms. Donnelly Reads

"A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives" George R.R. Martin

The last few years I’ve forced myself into making friends with technology and social media in my classroom. I developed a website for my students, started using Remind to stay in contact with them, and created an Instagram account for my classes (that, though, was short lived. I didn’t want there to be any trouble with postings or comments).

In reading 9 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Classroom, there were several items that I may try next year. I liked the idea of focusing on ONE social media component a month. School is overwhelming for students and teachers. There are so many demands, so laying them all down at their feet the first month of school is premature and they won’t have any connection to it in May. And, by having them zoom in on one social media topic, they can really flesh out the uses and distractions of each program.

Getting Social: everyone, including the teacher, needs to pick a platform and follow it for the month. Once a week, everyone checks in with what they’ve learned, terms they’ve come across, and information they’ve found for academic purposes.

Blogging: Teacher sets up a blog platform for kids. They write about a topic and provide meaningful feedback to each other (sound familiar)? The accounts are password protected, so it’s private for the class. Students can go on to use this work for their portfolio.

Twitter: Have kids create Twitter accounts (if they’re old enough) and populate their account with topics in class, post their homework, or start a #TrendingTopic for the class to discuss.

Scoop: It’s ok. But, teachers need to pay $7/month for a subscription. This may put educators off because they already spend SO MUCH of their OWN money every year.

Tumblr AND Pinterest: Curate pages for classroom topics with images and/or websites that are relevant. There are so many ways to use these two platforms in a classroom! It’s a less messy way to create collages 🙂

Flickr: Document what’s going on in school: field trips, class projects, presentations, etc. Alongside Twitter, this is another place to create a #TrendingTopic that deals with the classroom.

Skype: What a wonderful way to connect with people! Bringing experts into a classroom without having to do anything other than set up a connection. Students are exposed to a great number of people, places, and ideas that they may have never experienced before.

Time It: A great history class tool. Kind of like Google Hang Outs, students can be in a document at the same time to create timelines. It can be used in other classes, too. Also, students are able to comment and critique other students’ work.



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