Social media finds a new home in the classroom

Now that the traditional school year is well underway, a new burst of attention is being given to social media within the teaching environment. In a recent article on entitled “How connected are your professors? More so than some might think,” Sam Hayes summarizes:

“The May 4 survey asked 939 professors at two and four-year colleges if they had at least one account with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Google Wave, Skype, LinkedIn or Slideshare. Eighty percent said they used at least one of these functions, with 60 percent reporting that they had accounts with more than one social media site.”

If this survey had focused on students, the results would have hardly been surprising. But look again, the survey was given to…professors! 80% of the educators surveyed are currently using some kind of social media.

In addition to online social media sites, tools like Blackboard Learn allow teachers to embed and share videos and other mixed media within a lesson. In a recent press release, Blackboard stated that “the adoption rate is faster than for any new learning management release in Blackboard’s history.” Widespread adoption of mixed media learning tools, combined with the tight budgets that educators must work within, has led to greater use of new media platforms. Western Washington University’s Alyson Ihrig writes that “by not printing syllabuses, exams and other documents for class, the geology department plans to save 4,000 sheets of paper and $830 by the end of each quarter.”

But what about the curriculum itself? This year University of Kentucky is testing a new course which will be required for all Fall Freshmen in 2011. The course will combine oral speech and digital media in order to prepare students for the professional use of social networking tools like Facebook. A pilot class is being tested this year, with the final two-sequence course included in the 2011 curriculum.

To learn more about how educators can incorporate social media into their teaching toolbox, see Mashable’s recommendations: 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers.

Educators: what social media tools and techniques are you using in your classroom and beyond? How is social networking affecting the teaching and learning experience?

22 Responses to “Social media finds a new home in the classroom”

  1. Nayibe Altamar

    I am a teacher and I use digital tools like blogs, mobile phones among others for the teaching of chemistry, and everything that has to do with technological advances for use in the classroom and outside it fascinates me, because you have to use new strategies to facilitate learning in the boys and how to preserve the environment. Congratulations for this new initiative and would like to join his network. Exitos. Nayibe Altamar S. Santa Marta, Colombia

  2. John F. Rudman

    I started using StrataLogica along with my usual array of powerpoints and games. Imagine being able to spin the earth in your hands on a SmartBoard. It really engages the students.

  3. Joshua Konkankoh

    How wonderful how technology is transforming the way we learn.
    I am Business and Partnerships Director for Better World Cameroon NGO premier development organization attempting to introduce ITCs into the classroom in Cameroon.
    Unfortunately the information super highway has left my country on the sidelines. Without access to connectivity we face difficulties in engaging with the rest of the world.
    Our APPEAL is to people concerned about the plight of underprivileged children in Africa to extend a hand to build the professional relationship necessary for cross-cultural collaboration and sustainable development for a One World Family.

  4. Bev McPhee

    Teaching both in both masters and bachelors programs, I’m piloting the use of in-class twitter feeds. The feeds integrate w/ PPT, and allow students to ask questions or comment w/o interrupting lecture. Helps gives hesitant/shy students a voice. Also provides archive of points students found esp interesting. Ya gotta love it.


    definitely, education has gone past the traditional era and educators are always thinking of innovative ways to impart knowledge to a generation engrossed in modern technology. what a way to go, keep it up!!!

  6. Josh Mckoy

    I work in Law enforcement and have found Slideshare to be GREAT. I have been able to get ideas when doing powerPoint presentations.

  7. Kitai

    Thanx a lot am happy to join in this slideshare am work just self employee of computer sciences i thing i will get some support from you. Success is turning knowledge into positive action

  8. DeirdreB

    I use SlideShare so people can review the slides after the session they have attended at the university. People who miss a session also review the slides.
    Since I frequently embed links for further reading, people like the live access to the link.

  9. Vesa Linja-aho

    I’m a teacher in Helsinki Polytechnic and I’m sharing all my slides through Slideshare (as soon as I get the slideset ready after the first time I keep a course – I do not want to share non-finished slidesets):

    Here’s an example of my DC Circuit analysis slides:

    The slides look IMO rather boring, but still some colleagues say that “they are so good that I’m using them instead of making my own”. And all material is CC-BY -licensed, of course.

    Best thing in Slideshare is that students do not need to log in anywhere, they just open the page and read the slides.

  10. Rahmawati

    As an English teacher I find slideshare to be very useful when teaching in my classroom. Not only it offers a lot if options , it saves a lot if my time preparing for the lessons.

  11. Robert P. Morris III

    I like the Slideshare site and application on Facebook. Is there other ways to be able to use this site besides on Facebook? I would like to generate it to and from my site for more reasons than I can imagine right now. I couldn’t upload a couple of files and another one that I can’t remember right now. But for the most part, to get presentations to Facebook, and also to post and embed, it works. The Facebook button on this page isn’t working, I don’t think so, I tried it twice. It didn’t work.( Robert…

  12. remass

    Hi.I really would like to thank the slideshare team I’m teaching English as a second language in Jordan and I use many of the presentation of the grammar .thanx alot,it is amazing.

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