Sample PD on Social Media in Classroom for EDFN 521

Hello, All.  Below you’ll find information about Twitter, Tweetdeck, Facebook, Blogs and Websites, and more.  These are all examples of Social Media applications that you can use while teaching.
Poke around and try the links.  Have fun!  Ask me if you have questions.

Note to the general reader:  This has been compiled as part of a group presentation for EDFN 521.  Our topic is “Balanced and Effective Use of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom.”

Twitter:  Overview: communicate in “tweets” of maximum 140 characters each.  You can tweet to a specific person, to a group of people (using a hashtag that starts with #), or to everyone who “follows” you (signs up to read your tweets).  Tweet class members and/or parents with homework assignments, test reminders, sample review questions, etc.
Tweet and follow colleagues who share your interests in particular topics: for example the hashtag #edtech is for a group  of people who are interested in technology in education.

Tweetdeck:  Application by twitter that helps organize your tweets, schedule tweets, filter input,  monitor multiple twitter and facebook accounts.   Check it out!

facebook:  Very popular social media application.  To use for teaching and classroom purposes, be sure to learn about the privacy features to help control access to class-related sites, if appropriate.

One argument in support of using facebook for teaching is that so many people already know how to use it.
Please note: Facebook users are supposed to be 13 years old or older.

This excellent blog post includes many examples of ways to use facebook in the classroom.

This entry, Teaching Digital Kids:  has good content, including facebook privacy instructions.

Blogs and Websites:  Blogs can be thought of as online journals. They provide a way to share information, and to have conversations with students, parents, and colleagues.  Several free blogging sites are available.  Additional features are often available for those with paid subscriptions.  You can also create a separate website for yourself or for your class.  There are free as well as paid options for websites as well.


RSS Feeds:   Once you set up your online Personal Learning Network, you will want a way to organize and sort the information that flows in from several sources. RSS Readers can help you do that.

  • If you’re an RSS beginner, watch this short YouTube video called RSS in Plain English   From 2007, but still pertinent.  It explains the relationship between RSS readers and RSS feeds,

Examples of News Readers:

Here is a blog entry from About. com that ranks RSS readers for Windows, Mac, and Linus. is part of the New York Times Company.


“Controlled” Social Media Environments:

Several applications provide closed and controlled social media environments.  Generally the teacher can determine who can participate in the environment (pick another word).  The teacher can have the ability to monitor interactions and to delete student entries that are deemed inappropriate.  Here is one example:

Collaborize Classroom:  is a free, online, web-based, private classroom environment that is designed to foster discussions and critical thinking on variety of subjects.   The teacher can monitor discussions.  Templates are provided for several question types: yes/no, discussion forum, multiple-choice, or “vote or suggest,” which allows a student to vote for an existing answer or to add his/her own.   An image, a video, or a link to a PDF or Microsoft Office ™ file may be embedded in the question block.   A library of discussion topics and questions is included.  While the library includes sub-headings for all ages beginning with preschool, I think this would be most useful for students in elementary school and older.  It could also be used to foster discussion among teachers and administrators.

Here is a wiki that contains a review and examples of Collaborize Classroom questions.

Learning Management Systems:  
Purchased or subscribed to by a school or a district to provide a consistent online interface for teachers, parents, and students.  ItsLearning is one example.  There are several different choices.

It’s Learning:  The following quote is from :  “K-12 digital learning platform which allows educators to create, use and manage a wide variety of digital resources to support best practices such as: blended learning, flipping the classroom, personalized learning, professional learning communities, and other innovative digital learning environments.”

Acknowledgements:    To everyone whose work I reference in these pages, thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise with us online!

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