Our students are social networkers, but they are not necessarily wise online. When we use social networking in class to enhance instruction and extend learning beyond the space and time of class, we give them a powerful lesson about making wise choices online.
There are many, many tools and websites out there for teachers and students to select. I just happen to like Edmodo because it is built specifically for education and because it is very easy to learn how to use. When we used it in Mrs. Kendrick’s class, students grasped it instantly. She asked them to share links, resources, and ideas through Edmodo as they worked on a research task in class. Since Edmodo was capturing all of their work, Mrs. Kendrick was able to see their progress all in one place. Students didn’t need to worry about sharing files with flash drives or through the common drive. The social networking site engaged the students and housed their data. At the end of class, one student asked if everyone would be able to continue working on the assignment at home. It gave me great satisfaction to answer, “Yes!”
Of course, there’s so much more to say, and I suppose that’s why I am presenting today. I hope the attendees see the potential in using social networking (or, as some prefer to call it, “educational networking”) as a regular part of instruction.