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Social media in education offers students the ability to connect with learning groups and easily find useful information. As educators, it is pivotal to teach students the benefits of using social media, as well as the proper (and safe) way to use these types of tools. This collection provides professional learning for educators using social media in the classroom, tools to organize and share social media, plus some social media favorites (such as Twitter and Pinterest). View our collection to find a tool useful for you or your classroom. Plus, our “In the Classroom” suggestions offer ways to integrate the tool in your lessons.
 

 

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Creator Academy - YouTube

Grades
8 to 12
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable...more
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable lessons in video production and creating engaging content. Each video includes a downloadable lesson reinforcing content. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): creativity (94), journalism (66), social media (43), video (241)

In the Classroom

View videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard before assigning multimedia projects. Include a link to the videos on your class web page for students to view at home. Set up a video chat time for one of these YouTube videos using a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here, to discuss the video lesson. Be sure to share with your school's journalism teacher for use with writing and video projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (53), professional development (231), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your professional learning network (PLN) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Voxer - Tom Katis

Grades
K to 12
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be ...more
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be hands-free. It is available on the web and all mobile devices. Hear messages live, or listen later. Broadcast messages to an individual or group, or listen and respond to chats in Walkie-Talkie mode and not even be in the app. Voxer allows talk and text across countries, wireless carriers, or data networks at no additional charge. Registration with email is required.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (39), DAT device agnostic tool (167), listening (77), microblogging (27), social media (43), speaking (22), speech (74)

In the Classroom

Extend classroom technology use by using Voxer with early readers in your Daily 5 literacy structure for oral reading and listening to others read. Archive students' reading fluency at the beginning of the year, making comparisons throughout the year. Send the Voxer sample readings to parents via email so they can hear the progress and your comments, too. Use Voxer with any language learning students, both ELL/ESL and world languages. Students can practice speaking and listening in their new language. Connect with another class in a country speaking the language your students are learning for rich, real-world discussions. Create small groups to discuss anything from current events, to how to complete a math problem, to contributions for group research projects. Middle and high school teachers can use Voxer for communication between classes posting a question about the reading they are doing, an equation in math, or a lab in science. Collaborate with another classroom across the state or in another country allowing students to discuss with other students not in their school. Reluctant writers could use this tool to brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece. With students under 13 consider setting up a class account using a global login. Students would need to give their first name when contributing so you will know who is speaking.

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Pablo - Buffer

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quickly create and share engaging social media images with Pablo - no registration required! Choose the shape of your image to match the platform where you will share, namely ...more
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Quickly create and share engaging social media images with Pablo - no registration required! Choose the shape of your image to match the platform where you will share, namely a wide rectangle for Twitter and Facebook, the smaller rectangle for Pinterest, or square for Instagram. Add text for the header, body, or as a caption and edit the font type, size, and colors. Select a background image from Pablo's 600,000 free images or upload your own image; reposition the image as you wish. Select from several templates such as Quote, Announcement, and more. When finished, use links to Tweet, share on Facebook, or download and use any way that you like.

tag(s): back to school (57), graphic design (43), images (260), posters (43), quotations (21)

In the Classroom

Engage your class by creating a teaser for upcoming units using an image created with Pablo. Create images with favorite quotes as an introduction to any lesson. At the beginning of the year, print out images with inspirational quotes to put on bulletin boards. Share what you created on your website or blog. Have students create an image to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Link or embed the introductory presentations in your class wiki, and have others guess who is portrayed. Use this tool to create short story summaries.

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The Wonderment - Kidnected World

Grades
3 to 9
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given ...more
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given a choice to follow many different paths, kids determine the subject of interest. The paths are real-world problems from around the globe. View a video, story, or idea. Design a response using text, photos, or a video. Join a chat to allow comments or ask questions to make global connections. After each posting, special points are added to make the bot design more elaborate. A personal Wondermeter rises with each response. Through donations, this non-profit brings technology to children around the world. A call for adults to serve as mentors to respond to each child challenges adults to join in the fun and make the world a better place. Register with email. Children under 13 need parent or teacher approval to participate. Watch the two short videos to see an explanation for The Wonderment and How It Works.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (139), enrichment (9), gifted (66), listening (77), Problem Based Learning (8), problem solving (246), social media (43), social networking (83), social skills (24), speaking (22)

In the Classroom

Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions after can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or Edmodo account. Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.

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Tweet Topic Explorer - Neoformix

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter...more
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter and word clouds, this resource can provide current information about many topics. Enter a Twitter username in the lower left to begin. Click on a circle in the word cloud to see the tweets listed along the side. Try entering @teachersfirst to see an example.

tag(s): charts and graphs (177), social media (43), twitter (39)

In the Classroom

This would be fantastic projected on a whiteboard (or projector) for the class to see. Use this resource by entering a Twitter username (such as a politician's) to stay up to date about what they are discussing (or to realize the overuse of certain talking points!) Enter an author's user name to follow current discussions. Use this resource over a period of several weeks to identify the changing trends or changes in stories over time. Follow any Twitter name that can shed light on any academic topic for use in a class. Does your class use twitter? Enter the username(s) to create a word cloud of what your class has done. Use the word cloud and Tweets to reflect on what has been learned in the class. Follow what a famous person or writer is tweeting. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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Pinterest - Pinterest.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search ...more
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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search bar, and find an Education area with menu tabs like Science, Elementary, English, Higher, STEM, and more. Images have a short caption; clicking on a picture gives the option to Repin or Like. To create/add to your pinboards, register for free. If you have an account, you can Repin the picture to a pinboard you have titled and created within your account. Click on the image again to visit the original site of the image. Often this is just what you are looking for to learn specific details. You can also search Pinterest for specific items such as Guided Reading, File Folder Activities, or other classroom needs. Pinterest members can "follow" other users and see their new items as they add them to their pinboards. Use Pinterest on any device or computer, and there is a related Facebook app.

tag(s): architecture (66), cooking (30), creativity (94), DAT device agnostic tool (167), fashion (9), guided reading (39), nutrition (142), organizational skills (97), professional development (231), social media (43), social networking (83)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!

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Sharon, OH, Grades: 0 - 6

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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 280 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief...more
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 280 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief "tweet." Tweets are much more than messages to share what you are eating for lunch! Use this popular microblogging and social networking tool for a great way to communicate with teaching peers and real world people you may not have a chance to otherwise meet. Reply to others to create conversations for some of the best professional development around. Each "tweet" or message may not seem extraordinary, but using the sum total of tweets from those you "meet" on Twitter can have an amazing impact. Use your profile and settings to add a bio and other information, change your security settings from public to protected, find those who follow you, and more. Post your tweets through the website, mobile devices, or myriad of applications to manage tweets and followers. Keep track of your favorite tweets by starring them. Refer to your favorites list as needed. Wish you could take back a tweet? Click the trash can beside the post to delete (however, others may have already seen and responded.) Find many opinions about Twitter on and off the Internet. Remember you will gain only as much as you put into this service. Build a network of helpful colleagues to become a better learner (and educator). Anyone can learn from Twitter, even a class of elementary students! Still not sure what Twitter is about? Find a great explanation of how it works in this review.

tag(s): microblogging (27), social media (43), social networking (83)

In the Classroom

Bring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @moreruckus2 (our leader).

Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.

As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 280 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.

Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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