I don’t know why but a few weeks from now I still believed that students did not start using social media until late high school years. I guess I was mistaken, and I was the most surprised when my teacher told me about the students having Facebook… I mean… They are barely twelve years old! They are still in sixth grade! This can’t be real…but it is. However, despite it’s incredibly negatively portrayed status, social media can in fact have quite a positive influence in academic area. Indeed, if used wisely,social media can generate the most impressive outcomes.
Using social media to teach is, to me, one of the best way to get students hooked. Also, it allows us teacher to get an hold on our students whenever it is needed. No need to wait until the next class, which in the case of Quebec’s ESL courses, may only be one or two weeks away from the previous one.
The most popular social media used in education surely are twitter and Facebook, but they aren’t this popular ONLY in education. As you probably know, these social media platform are used for any other area of people’s life. It is used to reach up to friends, to family, to plan on events, to create soccer team groups, etc. Moreover, such social media are sometimes criticized and portrayed negatively. Not everyone is willing to subscribe to such websites. For this reason, I prefer to go for another website which is strictly designed exclusively for educational aims: Edmodo. With Edmodo, no one will be forced to subscribe to any website without willing to.
Edmodo is a website to which it is possible to create groups. These groups are restricted to educational group. For example, a teacher will create a group to which he is the administrator. He will then have his students subscribe to Edmodo and will add them to the group.
An Edmodo group could be created either for the entire school board or for the classroom only. An Edmodo group for the entire school board could include special announcements, sporting events, school news, etc. It would be a great way to make the school appear more like a community to the students. It would be a great way to keep the students’ interest in anything that relates to school.
In the classroom, an Edmodo can be created for nearly anything. It can be used simply as a news thread in order to keep the students aware of some new information concerning assignments or exams. For example, it could be used just like any other social media where the teacher would be the administrator and post information and upload documents concerning the course and the students would be able to comment on the teacher’s post or to post questions about course material and assignments.
It can also be used for the students to post their works and have the students review each other’s work. Each student will post their work on Edmodo and the other would comment on the work and give advice on how to make the it better.
In ESL classroom, Edmodo could be used to keep a conversation going and therefore have the students practice their English. For example, once to twice a week, the teacher could post questions such as ‘What did you do over the weekend?’ or ‘What are your plans for the holidays?’.
Edmodo is a great way to have the classroom match the students interest. Students love to interact on social media thread. Not only Edmodo can provide such an opportunity, but it also allows to restrict the use of a social media in the classroom to education.