Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social Media and the Classroom

I sat down tonight to do some work on my syllabi for the spring semester. As I did so, and as I juggled through the traditional types of assignments, I began to wonder if there was a place for social media in my classroom. I don't think individual courses should have their own Facebook pages or Twitter feeds, but maybe there is another way that those platforms could be useful. Then there are podcasts, video streams, and blogs, all of which have proven applications in the classroom. What do you think, tech-savvy friends? Would you like to have had social media in your courses? If a teacher, have you used social media effectively?  


  1. I'd be wary of Facebook and Twitter as classroom tools because they're both paid for by advertising. I wouldn't want to see any student forced to disclose his or her personal information to a private business for classwork. Or to get bombarded with ads about 'male enhancement'.

    That said, those could be good tools for disseminating real-time information in the event of a cancelled class or extended office hours.

  2. @ Gauk

    Yes, I agree with you there. I don't want to force students to join anything extra, and I don't want to presume access. If I can provide access through the university, I'm okay with that, but that rules out Facebook and Twitter. I've tried a class blog before, but it hasn't really taken off. Discussion fora seem terribly outmoded to me. Still, perhaps I'll set up a professional Twitter account or something, which could keep students thinking about things long after they've left the classroom -- or not. It could fade into the background, too.

  3. I remember Blackboard being a huge pain in the butt, at the time Facebook was a lot more simple than it is now though. I might have checked social media for a class if I'd forgotten a due date and it was faster than digging out the syllabus; or maybe used it to connect socially with classmates but otherwise I wouldn't have utilized it much.

    One of the acting classes I took made a FB group for the class and the prof joined. Pretty much was just used for reminders and social stuff not really academics.