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Social Media: Another way to Connect with Students

This past year was my first year of using social media with my students. I was teaching Composition I and II at a small private college. The college had an antiquated version of BlackBoard, and I didn’t like posting reminders on BlackBoard because students wouldn’t see it unless they logged in. (And let’s be honest…they wouldn’t log in to check their homework more than once a week unless they had to upload an assignment.)

A colleague of mine, who was also new to the university, had a Facebook page. I had “liked” her page and was surprised by the dialogue she had with her students. I decided to give it a try. I created an education page on Facebook Pages and let myself have one more avenue to communicate with students.

I used the Facebook page to post reminders, to offer encouragement, and to share articles I came across that related to our class discussions. I also had students occasionally post homework to the site when I wanted them to post links and comment on each other’s links. WikiSpaces has since created a classroom template that I would probably use instead of Facebook for the homework portion, but I will definitely use Facebook again when I teach. The biggest advantage of it was my students were already checking Facebook. Instead of giving them one more website to go to, I came to them.

I was surprised that a number of  my students didn’t want to use Facebook. They tried to get me to create a Twitter feed for the class, but I argued that Twitter wouldn’t allow me post lengthy comments and it doesn’t create the same sense of community. My students, however, were amazing at connecting and using Twitter, though.

I know many educators are hesitant to jump on the social media bandwagon, but there are real benefits to meeting our students where they are. We aspire to that when we are teaching. We always find out what our students already know about a subject and build off that. Connecting with them through a social network allows us to meet them where they are and reach them outside of the classroom. Don’t be afraid of it. Join the bandwagon and see how it changes your in-person interactions with your students; I think you’ll be surprised.エムズジャパン アクリル コンディメントスタンド 2段4穴 B30-2 NKV1401
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