Teaching with Social Media

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This blog was originally posted on February 17th, 2015.

As I prepare for any class I teach, I post the planned activities on a WordPress blog and send out updates on Twitter. My blog post typically includes a photo I have found on Flickr, using Creative Commons search. In class, we are likely to talk about Facebook, Flickr, or Pinterest. We build LinkedIn profiles, and we discuss online personas.

Social media has become a significant part of what I teach and how I communicate with students for these ten reasons:

  1. It provides an authentic audience (often with instant responses).
  2. It builds community among students as they connect in writing.
  3. It creates a simple discussion space for classroom brainstorming.
  4. It supports back channel conversations.
  5. It lets me share information easily when students are not in the classroom.
  6. It teaches skills students will use in their job searches and ultimately in the workplace.
  7. It stresses the value of multimodal composing.
  8. It can create archives of course work and class discussions—and it’s much easier than copying everything off the board.
  9. It provides great spaces for collaborative projects.
  10. It’s fun! Anytime learning is fun, everyone wins.

Now that you know why I use social media, would you like to learn more about how? Join me during Macmillan’s #EdTechWeek for my presentation on “Ten Ways to Use Social Media in the Writing Classroom.” I will share some general strategies as well as specific assignments and activities that focus on bringing the connectivity of social media tools in the writing classroom. I will be presenting Wednesday, February 25 at 2 PM Eastern. I look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author
Traci Gardner, known as "tengrrl" on most networks, writes lesson plans, classroom resources, and professional development materials for English language arts and college composition teachers. She is the author of Designing Writing Assignments, a contributing editor to the NCTE INBOX Blog, and the editor of Engaging Media-Savvy Students Topical Resource Kit.