By now, most teachers have had classes full of digital natives. Since children, over the past decade, have been using tablets and apps from a young age, many of them are already fully connected when they reach their classrooms. Naturally, teachers want their students to be attentive in class and not be consumed by checking apps and social media platforms. But, in fact, it is important for students to understand and utilize these technologies, not only throughout their educational journey, but also in many careers. Besides, most students are on social sites in some way or another. So, educators must ask themselves, how can social media be used in a way to give students an educational advantage?
Social media encourages individualistic learning and autonomy
Sure, certain social media sites can be filled with pop culture or seemingly irrelevant themes for classroom learning. Because of this, teachers must be very careful of what social media sites students can access and the parameters around it. Once teachers decide on what is safe for their own students, they can access the wealth of information to be had on social media.
Creatubbles solves the very real safety issues that parents and teachers have for students, especially younger ones. Every profile, creation, description and comment is monitored by our Creatubbles team. Students can safely reach out to other students and creators around the world, ask questions and get inspired. For example, if an art class is studying still life, students can search for Creatubbles creations that resonate best with them. They can then leave the creator a comment or ask questions about style, medium, form, shadows etc.
Twitter also offers a wealth of information in a short, digestible format that helps keep students attention from straying. Registered handles, like @Nasa or @MuseumModernArt frequently tweet out current findings or exhibitions that could be useful for your students’ research. They would then, take it upon themselves to search through Twitter to find and decipher information that is relevant for their projects.
Twitter also offers educational chats for students to follow. For example, if your students were using Minecraft as an educational tool, they could participate in the #MinecraftEdu chat every Tuesday as a class, or individually. Twitter allows for a self-guided, autonomous approach to learning, for each student with different learning capabilities.
Social media fosters collaboration and global citizenship
Social media gives students the unique ability to include nearly anyone worldwide. That means that students have the opportunity to interact with marine biology students in the Galapagos, or arctic researchers in the North Pole. Social media groups allow for open dialogues, where the participants not only learn about the core subjects at hand, but about the various cultures and social contexts of everyone involved in the groups.
Facebook groups, for example can work well with students over 13 who are already signed up to the platforms. Teachers can create, invite and administrate a closed group for educational and safety purposes. The Facebook group can essentially work as a digital classroom, with teachers facilitating the collaboration — and students can learn organically from the q&a and cultural exchange.
On Creatubbles, students of any age have the freedom to share, get inspired, connect with other students and participate in collaborative projects without any apprehensions. For example, Owen, our 10 year old creator from the US, envisioned a Minecraft gallery in which creators all of the world could join by sharing their own classroom-themed builds. Creators from a range of countries, like Romania, Colombia, the Philippines and Brazil joined by sharing Minecraft creations of their own schoolyard.
Of course, when introducing any supplementary educational tools, teachers must decide which ones are best for their own students. Teachers must take into account safety, efficiency and student interest. Creatubbles makes it easy to create lessons that cater to each student’s individual needs, at their own pace and interests and for any core subject.