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Social Media in Today's Classroom
Transcript of Social Media in Today's Classroom
in Today's Classroom
copy and paste as needed and take advantage of an infinite canvas!
We endeavor to explore the use of social media in the classroom. Specifically, we researched how the Common Core Standards address 21st Century Learning Skills, the pros and cons of using social media, and the role the teacher plays in implementing social media in their classroom.
21st Century Skills in the Common Core
Cons of Using Social Media in the Classroom
Pros of Using Social Media in the Classroom
by: Jennifer Larson and Kiley Crill
How is social media in the classroom a good thing?
"The present study offers a preliminary quantitative analysis of Twitter in the classroom. A survey based experiment (n=144) was conducted to measure student perceptions of teacher credibility, immediacy, and content relevance alongside instructor Twitter use. Results indicate significant, positive correlations between student Twitter use and positive perceptions of teacher behaviors. These results indicate that Twitter may serve as a valuable tool to supplement more traditional forms of instruction"
With a pro, there is always a con. What is the downside to using social media in the classroom?
According to Principal's partnership, administrators
across the country are addressing social media in the classroom and developing an acceptable use policy. They state, "The growing use of social media by students and staff has led many schools to consider developing acceptable use policies. There is tremendous opportunity for improving education through the use of social media. There is also potential risk because social media can be used to access age inappropriate information and to engage in aggressive online behavior."
The benefits of social media are seen by most, but actual implementation in the classroom presents challenges. According to (Armistead, 2010), "Principals called for clear guidelines about how to proceed when there is a need to discipline students for the inappropriate use of social media. Principals reported that students are frequently using social media to communicate with others, and they want legal guidance for when and how they can discipline students for such acts as cyber bullying and sexting."
As seen in the Cyber Security Alliance’s 2011 State of Cybersafety, Cyberethics and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S. survey, 35 percent of teachers reported they had received zero hours of professional development on related digital topics. An additional 40 percent stated they only received 1-3 hours of education. That translates into three-quarters of teachers polled receiving little to no cyber instruction. (IKeepSafe,org 2011)
A recent Pew Research Center report shows that 73 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use social networking, up from 55 percent just four years ago. Numbers are greatest among high school girls, who tend to use social media as a way to socialize and strengthen relationships. (Tolerance.org, 2011)
Teachers spend an average of 50 hours per week on instructional duties, including an average of 12 hours each week on non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty, and club advising. [NEA.org, 2013)
Up-to-date research and awareness of new technology
Liability and Protection
Detailed planning and scheduling
[Students will] use technology and digital media
strategically and capably.
Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.
W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
RI.8.7. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
SL.11-12.2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
SL.11-12.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
Cons of Using Social
Media in the Classroom:
CCSS ELA Standards State:
Common Core Standards
Twitter in the classroom?
According to a study by
(McArthur & Bostedo-Conway, 2012),
This video discusses
social media in an elementary
Dr. Michael Wesch goes into detail about social media in the classroom
Prepare students for their role in the 21st century.
Pros of Using Social Media
in the Classroom: Resources
McArthur, J. A., & Bostedo-Conway, K. (2012). Exploring the relationship between student-instructor interaction on twitter and student perceptions of teacher behaviors. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 24(3), 286-292. Retrieved from http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2011). New literacies. Berkshire, England ; New York: Open University Press.
In Chapter 7, the authors
(Lankshear & Knobel, 2011)
discuss three main ideas:
Social Learning, 'Push' and 'Pull',
and building platforms for
Building platforms for
On page 233 the text says, "First, Brown and
Adler say that Because web architecture now provides a
sophisticated participatory medium that is widely used for purposes of sharing, it can support multiple modes of learning."
"Second, Brown and Adler claim that the kinds of practices supported by web 2.0 urge us to see the internet more in terms of offering access to other people than (simply) in terms of providing access to information."
Page 235 reveals, "It is within and through shared practice that meanings-significance-ideas, categories, evidence, tools, tests, e techniques, and all other things that constitute knowledge
come into being."
What is 'push' versus 'pull''?
Page 243 explains, "They claim that a demand-pull approach to learning 'shifts the focus' from pushing pre-determined curriculum content contained in (learning) programs to 'enabling participation in flows of action where the focus is both on 'learning to be' through "enculturation into a practice" and on collateral (or consequential, "spin-off", by product) learning'."
So what does this mean for us?
In the pull model, utilizing social media in the classroom allows students to collaborate with other learners and create meaning based on what they know and what resources they have access to. In this aspect, social media fits nicely into universal design.
In the push model, students are expected to learn the pre-determined curriculum where the focus is on individuals and
What does that look like?
Page 246 tells us, "Such platforms will involve varying mixes of access to physical and virtual environments, depending on local contingencies, but always on the basis that these environments and resources provide opportunities for learners/newcomers to participate in authentic practices with access to support and guidance from experienced and expert practitioners-scholars, researchers, and other disciplinary and technical professionals."
The how and the why of it
Make available resources such as online technical forums and collaborative sites including ning, wikis, and blogs, Also, teachers should teach skills and make available resources for relevant scholarly websites. This is just a starting point!
By building a platform for collaborative learning, students are exposed to other people's thoughts and opinions. Gaining more perspectives than their own is where meaning is
constructed and true sophistication comes from.
Cost of training for school personnel
Student misuse, such as bullying
lack of face to face communication
One big distraction
Monitor student use
Provides skills for the 21st century world
Teaches collaborative skills
Promotes constructivist theory
Folds into universal design
Streamline communication with parents/teachers
Provides access to experts
What does this mean for us?
Researching the use of social media in the classroom revealed many peer reviewed articles such as this example of a quantitative analysis about Twitter used as a supplemental instructional tool.
This article is an example, but I struggled (including searching What Works Clearinghouse) to find any research on social media that utilized well-designed and well-implemented randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-experimental designs. This led me to question the integrity of the research.
The information in this research presentation
reveals the pros and cons from the research we found. Ultimately, teachers need to apply these
findings based on the knowledge of their individual class.
Is it more hassle than it's worth?
Principal's Partnership. (2010). Social media: Developing an acceptable use policy.
Retrieved from http://www.principalspartnership.com/
Armistead, L. Education Partnerships, INC., (2010). Social media arrive in school
principals look at impacts. Retrieved from LACommunications website: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED537691.pdf
Actions to Consider
Research and Awareness
Liability and Protection
If teachers are expected to use social media and other technology in the classroom, professional development will be an important piece to implementing these changes. In order for the technology integration to enhance student learning, teachers must understand how social media adds to their students' literacy skills.
(Ohler, 2013) says on page 43-44, "By and large, teacher conversations about social media are focused on less pleasant issues such as privacy, accessibility (given much social media is often blocked at school), personal safety, its tendency to distract students, and so on."
We as teachers, need to take an objective look at social media in the classroom and decide what works. This should be done in collaboration with other teachers and administration. The quote above reveals the attitude toward social media in education which is another challenge to be aware of.
Ohler, J. B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom. (2nd ed., pp. 43-44). London: Sage.
Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jcUFHjESDZUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=social media in the classroom&ots=1ChVAr3Ar0&sig=QjE-dJUWjG2vhmUU7M4yxvEkVjU
In the seminal Pickering v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court held that it’s not a First Amendment violation to dismiss probationary teachers for what they say or write, if their speech involves merely personal things (i.e. doesn’t address broader social/political issues of the day), or if the speech might disturb the workplace. (NEA.org, 2011)
Simpson, M. (2011). Social Networking Nightmares. Tomorrow's Teachers. National Education Association. Retrieved from
Dr. David Crystal discussing myths related to texting and Twitter literacy. (EdSocial Media, 2011)
Teachers who hope to integrate technology into their classrooms have endless amounts of resources available to them online. They only need to type in the topic of study to find thousands of websites, lesson suggestions, and technology integrations available. The challenge, is that all of this takes time. Teachers who have spent their career teaching from a book, may be resistant to learning new technologies in order to teach them to their students.
Which CCSS Standards Address Technology?
The Common Core standards do not address digital literacy as a genre. They represent technology as a tool which is utilized in order to learn reading and writing skills. They also focus on critical literacy, and discerning the validity of online texts. The students are not being asked to develop their digital literacy gradually with teacher support. The assessments which test students' knowledge of Common Core Standards are laden with technology elements. The pressure of the assessment format will likely lead schools to be more explicit about teaching digital literacy.
When technology is seen as a tool rather than a genre, schools will often treat it as a set of technical skills. For example, students may be asked to learn how to type, but be limited to a word processor. They may also learn how to research topics on the internet, but end up copying and pasting most of their information, rather than synthesizing the information using their literacy skills. It is imperative that students learn how to relate their literacy skills to the ever-growing genre of digital literacy.
The 8th grade standard RI.8.7 asks students to discern which medium is best for presenting an idea. Students will not be able to accomplish this goal, if they are not exposed to multiple media throughout their education. Not only do teachers need to utilize a variety of media in their classrooms, but they also need to have students engage with using these tools as well. This will allow them to compare and contrast the features and user experience of each, in order to make an informed decision.
Over the past 14 years of education under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and high-stakes testing, schools have developed a reactionary education model. Schools wait to see what the assessments will cover, and then tailor their students' education to what is on the test, and the format in which it is being presented. The introduction of the Common Core is no different. Although the standards allow for much more teacher engagement in the creation of content, the assessments still govern the ultimate goal for learning. Teachers will be forced to incorporate more digital literacies into their teaching, simply because the assessment requires that students are familiar with online tools and media. Students will be expected to be proficient typists, comfortable with online videos and reading texts on a computer screen, and they will need to be able to proficiently navigate through an online test. Hopefully, teachers will seek the deeper level of digital literacy for their students through engaging activities using online social media and other online tools.
What impact will CCSS have on digital literacy instruction?
Skill vs. Literacy
Time for Implementation
It is a well-known fact that teachers work long hours, and many more hours than they are paid for. To increase teacher participation in using social media in their classroom, schools will need to allow for their teachers to collaborate and develop their own social media skills. They will have to learn what the benefits of this format are for their students, and understand that the investment of time and energy will be worth the increase in student engagement and performance.
There is a great deal of anecdotal feedback that social media enhances students' school experience. Over the next few years, more formalized research will need to be done in order to measure the impact of social media in the classroom. Until that time, teachers will be on their own to develop ways to harness the potential of these experiences in their own classroom.
Teacher's Role in Social Media in the Classroom Resources
Students who enter today's classroom are already engaged in social media with or without encouragement from their teacher. Students develop their own sense of literacy through their personal experiences with social media. Teachers have the opportunity to tap into these skills and apply them to content knowledge in the classroom. Teachers and administrators are in a position now where they must develop acceptable use policies to support the appropriate use of social media in the classroom. This will be a drastic shift for some schools who have, in the past, banned cell phones and social media use in school.
Teachers must also be responsible for their own personal social media use. There have been a number of cases lately where teachers have been fired from their jobs due to information shared on social media. There is very little First Amendment protection in the world of social media, and teachers must help their students understand that the information they are sharing will be widely available. Teachers must also take precautions not to engage in social media with their students in a non-academic format. This can cause some teachers to avoid using a public social media outlet for their instructional use.
To avoid the pitfalls of liability regarding social media, many online communities have become available for educational use. Outlets such as EdModo have provided teachers with a pseudo social media format with added protections to allow students to participate fully without the risk of predatory or abusive influences. Websites, blogs, forums, and other formats may be used in a filtered environment to allow the focus to be on the content and experience.
Another way teachers are circumventing this issue is by engaging students in social media inspired activities such as handwriting "tweets" or making a Facebook page for a book character on paper. This eliminates the risk of online interaction while still allowing the students to learn about appropriate social media etiquette. This can be especially helpful for schools with limited access to computers, and also for young children who are not allowed to create personal social media accounts.
Wankel, C. (2011). Educating educators with social media. Bingley, UK : Emerald Group Pub.
Jackson, C. (2011). Your Students Love Social Media…and So Can You. Teaching
Tolerance, Number 39.
Retrieved from http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-39-spring-2011/feature/your-students-love-social-media-and-so-can-you
Common Core Standards. (2012). Retrieved from
Heick, T. (2013). Exactly What The Common Core Standards Say About
Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/exactly-what-the-common-core-standards-say-about-technology/
Magner, T., Soulé, H., Wesolowski, K. (2011). P21Common Core Toolkit: A Guide to Aligning the
Common Core State Standards with the Framework for 21st Century Skills. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills CCSS Toolkit http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/P21CommonCoreToolkit.pdf