Social media tools for education offer educators a way to easily connect with students and parents, as well as external stakeholders. These tools can help maintain and improve relationships with students and their families, while also increasing the overall communication within the school. In addition to these benefits, social media tools can be used to promote academic achievements and increase attendance.
Social Media Tools For Education
Connecting with each other comes to us more easily now that we can just tap away on a keyboard and chat with a person who lives over 3000 miles away. Finding information knows no boundaries with Google on every computer in the world.
As educators, this means access to more, faster, which is thrilling and mindboggling. However, it can also be frustrating and confusing with so much to choose from.
How do you know which platform is the best for your goals? Which social media organization has the best resources and community? Which one would help you communicate better with your students?
All of these questions flutter through our minds as our eyes wander through the gallons of information we search through. So, to simplify this daunting task for teachers, the following list consists of the best social media for teachers.
1. The Connected Educator
A great site for connecting with other educators is edConnectr. It gives educators several avenues with which to find other like-minded educators. A Visual Mapping Engine narrows down certain criteria allowing educators to save valuable time and energy.
Edmodo acts as a playground for teaching and learning with a place for posts, calendars, and general communication for teachers and students. Linking to students becomes simpler and more efficient as well as more effective when students enjoy the presentation of it. It makes it easy to share valuable apps with students.
TedEd offers a variation of TED Talks with shorter, often-animated clips of subjects such as science, technology, social studies, literature, language, art, health, psychology, and business and economics. With communities and clubs, the site also makes it effortless for collaboration.
Besides great graphics and themes, Google+ takes teachers to their students with circles that make managing virtual communication an art. Students might need to know more about a particular lesson because they didn’t quite get it the first time. Pull them into a circle of their own with just the right tools to connect them to their path to understanding and learning.
The great part about Facebook is that everyone is on it. Students love connecting with their friends and family with Facebook so telling them to check out the page where you post only makes sense. However, it’s very important to stay professional and have a separate personal account.
The best way to use Twitter for teaching is as a reminder to students that they need to complete an assignment for a particular due date or that they have an exam coming up soon so study this or that. Sometimes teachers even use it for inspiration by sending a famous quote.
Students love Instagram for so many reasons but mainly for the photos and effects available to them. Teachers can create assignments that tap into the need to Instagram such as photo essays where students take photos, upload, and add captions or students can even create campaigns for certain organizations or just for a lesson.
If you want to share videos on Facebook or Twitter, use Vimeo. But, there’s a whole lot more teachers can use it for such as uploading and storing video then utilizing it as a tool to teach students more about creating video. Vimeo teaches for you at Vimeo Video School with lessons and tutorials.
With so many themes to choose from, WordPress has become a popular way for teachers to set up a web of communication and lessons with their students. Chalkboard is an educational theme that prepares students for learning and helps teachers outline goals and objectives while still providing great visuals. Teachers can also use it to inspire students to write more by having them create their own blogs and meet the WordPress Challenges.
Like WordPress, Blogger connects teachers to students using unique themes as well as diary-style writing. With access to teachers’ posted links, lessons, and thoughts students become more successful and comfortable with the teacher when learning online.
Using Skype means connecting with anyone, anywhere, at any time. This means students not only connect with teachers but teachers encourage students to broaden their view of the world. Set up virtual connections by contacting other teachers then connect the students to each other. Also, Skype has a whole portal dedicated to educators who can use it to teach various lessons already set up by the Skype team.
The celebrated platform for pinning favorite pix can be a great teaching and learning tool. It also encourages quick collaboration between teachers on all sorts of subjects and interests. Teachers can set up a Pinterest page for one particular class or a series of classes with Pins that focus on themes or subtopics important to the lesson at hand.
Educators of any level can click on the education category within YouTube and find several subcategories such as university, science, business, and engineering. YouTube even has a special section dedicated to teachers and how to teach with it. But, even if teachers never visited that section, they could teach using all the great videos available according to subjects or searches.
If YouTube doesn’t make the cut, try TeacherTube. It’s dedicated to all sorts of education, from the basics to more complicated work. Interestingly, the tabs for docs and audio are some of the more useful resources within it. However, it’s the idea of TeacherTube and it’s tools that make it so useful because teachers can use it to communicate with students and there’s no question that this is within an educational format.
For academics whose main goal is to share research papers, Academia.edu draws a crowd of over five million visitors. Academics can monitor the effect of their research and keep tabs on the research of the other academics that they follow. It’s a great tool for anyone needing data and information on various subjects and interests.
While acting as a professional social forum for employers to connect with applicants or search for potential employees, LinkedIn is used for so much more than that. Having students post professional resumes there and then contacting them about the job market and the business world around them keeps them in touch with reality and the endless possibilities through a targeted education.
Access millions of documents and hundreds of scientific news feeds by using LabRoots, a social networking site catering to scientists, engineers and technical professionals. Besides the plethora of information, it helps stay connected with colleagues and peers. Pulling students into the mix gives them a cutting edge feel and insight into precious tools and information.
Ijad Madisch founded ResearchGate, which is similar to LabRoots bringing scientists together for collaboration. The difference really lies with the mission and the creators who are scientists working to give visibility to the dedicated researchers all over the world.
Not a science lab, LabforCulture.org provides a place for artists to start blogs or an art group as well as connect and share information. Mostly made of Europeans, LabforCulture.org also highlights art news, events and exhibitions and helps artists find jobs and learn more about funding their projects. Teachers can use this for motivation and to help students get a feel for other artists’ work.
Focusing on the gallery concept, CultureInside creates space for online galleries and actual galleries. It might just be an artist’s dream if used correctly. With the guidance of a teacher, students can profit from their creativity as well. There’s also a feature called lightbox, which connects artists and helps promote artwork in other artists’ lightboxes.
what is social media
The term social media refers to a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through virtual networks and communities. Social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content, such as personal information, documents, videos, and photos. Users engage with social media via a computer, tablet, or smartphone via web-based software or applications. While social media is ubiquitous in America and Europe, Asian countries like Indonesia lead the list of social media usage.1
- Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities.
- There are more than 4.5 billion social media users around the world.
- The largest social media networks include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.
- Social media typically features user-generated content and personalized profiles.
- By 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.
Understanding Social Media
Social media originated as a way to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth, or with many people simultaneously.
There are more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world. Social media is an ever-changing and ever-evolving field, with new apps such as TikTok and Clubhouse coming out seemingly every year, joining the ranks of established social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. By 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.3
According to the Pew Research Center, social media users tend to be younger. Nearly 90% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 used at least one form of social media. Further, these users tend to be better educated and relatively wealthy, or earning over $75,000 per year.
Types of Social Media
Social media may take the form of a variety of tech-enabled activities. These activities include photo sharing, blogging, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, business networks, virtual worlds, reviews, and much more. Even governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.
For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family. Some people will use various social media applications to network career opportunities, find people across the globe with like-minded interests, and share their thoughts, feelings, insights, and emotions. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network.
For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool. Companies use the platform to find and engage with customers, drive sales through advertising and promotion, gauge consumer trends, and offer customer service or support.
Social media’s role in helping businesses is significant. It facilitates communication with customers, enabling the melding of social interactions on e-commerce sites. Its ability to collect information helps focus on marketing efforts and market research. It helps in promoting products and services, as it enables the distribution of targeted, timely, and exclusive sales and coupons to would-be customers. Further, social media can help in building customer relationships through loyalty programs linked to social media.
The average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide.5
Benefits of Social Media
Social media has changed the way we all interact with each other online. It gives us the ability to discover what’s happening in the world in real-time, to connect with each other and stay in touch with long-distance friends, and in order to have access to endless amounts of information at our fingertips. In many senses, social media has helped many individuals find common ground with others online, making the world seem more approachable.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, the use of social media is correlated with having more friends and more diverse personal networks, especially within emerging economies.6 For many teenagers, friendships can start virtually, with 57% of teens meeting a friend online.7
Businesses are also using social media marketing to target their consumers right on their phones and computers, building a following in order to build a loyal fan base, and create a culture behind their own brand. Some companies, such as Denny’s, have created entire personas on Twitter in order to market to younger consumers using their own language and personas.8
Examples of Social Media
While social media has its positive side, many point to the platform and call out negative features, likening its overuse to an addiction. Some contest it contributes to inattentiveness, stress, and jealousy. The National Center for Biotechnology Information links heavy social media use to depression.9 Social media may also be a conduit for misleading information and falsehoods.
The 2016 American presidential election has well-documented accounts of the impact of the ability to spread false information through the platform.10 Such a phenomenon leverages the power of social media, allowing anyone to reach an audience of millions with content that lacks oversight or fact-checking.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, with a clear advantage over other social media, though it has similar audiences to others like Twitter and Instagram. The figures for the most popular social media websites as of January 2021 are as follows:
- Facebook (2.74 billion users)
- YouTube (2.29 billion users)
- WhatsApp (2 billion users)
- Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion users)
- Instagram (1.22 billion users)
- WeChat (1.21 billion users)
- TikTok (689 million users)
- QQ (617 million users)
- Douyin (600 million users)
- Sino Weibo (511 million users)11
What Are the Top 10 Social Media Apps?
The top 10 social media apps are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok, QQ, Douyin, and Sino Weibo.
What Is the Use of Social Media?
Social media allows individuals to keep in touch with friends and extended family. Some people will use various social media applications to network and find career opportunities, connect with people across the globe with like-minded interests, and share their own thoughts, feelings, and insights online.
What Are the 6 Types of Social Media?
The six types of social media, though this can be broken down in many ways, include social networking, bookmarking, social news, media sharing, microblogging, and online forum sites.
What Is the Most Popular Social Media?
The most popular social media site is Facebook.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social networks in order to market a company’s products, such as through Facebook or Instagram ads, using influencers, or otherwise building a presence online to engage with customers.
The Bottom Line
Social media has taken the world by storm, capturing more than 3.8 billion users worldwide and counting. Whether or not each platform resonates with you personally, there are endless ways for businesses to market to their consumers and target them to ultimately make a purchase. Allowing us to stay connected with friends, find information easily, and add our own personalities to the online world, social networks are here to stay.
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