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5 Examples of How Schools Are Using Social Media to Enhance Learning | Likeable Content Daily

July 29th, 2010 80 Comments » Filed under Acknowledgement

By Jenna Lebel

Social Media is about listening, joining a conversation, and entering a dialogue. It is no wonder that classrooms are relying on social media to enhance students’ learning experiences. From live streaming Twitter feeds to a digital classroom portal, educators and students alike are finding a benefit in the integration of new media into the classroom. Here are 5 examples of how social media is becoming the newest teachers’ aide. Do you think social media has a place in the classroom? Can you think of other great examples? Share in the comments section below.

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Stanford University

Stanford University uses its fan page on Facebook as the ultimate resource for students. Students have access to faculty and student projects and can get inspiration for their own projects there. But that’s not what makes this case unique. Stanford leverages Facebook to host faculty office hours. Students (fans) post questions to the wall for a specific faculty member and that faculty member answers the questions during his/her assigned “office hours” via video or the wall. Stanford’s online office hours do not replace in person office hours at the university, but they do make it easier for students to find answers to questions quickly, without leaving their dorm room.

Purdue University

Purdue University uses the Hotseat application which integrates Facebook, Twitter and text messaging to help students communicate during class. Students simply use social networks or SMS to comment and ask questions on the class material as the class proceeds. The messages are projected onto a screen, allowing everyone in the class including the professor to see the messages. So far, the new media component in Purdue’s classrooms has been well received by students and faculty. Professor Sugato Chakravarty sees social media as a valuable tool for enhancing learning. He explains, “The students are engaged in the discussions and, for the most part, they are asking relevant questions.”

University Laboratory High School, Illinois

High School teacher Steve Rayburn wanted his students to read Dante’s Divine Comedy and get excited about it. His non-traditional assignment was called “Twitter in Hell.” Students were required to read the Dante classic and write 140-character tweets describing each level in hell as if they were Dante writing to his beloved Beatrice. Rayburn claimed that his kids instantly took to the project.

Marquette University

Through Skype, Spanish students at Marquette University participate in a virtual language exchange. Each student is assigned an English-learning counterpart from South America and engages in frequent webcam chats with their digital pen-pal. Professor Janet Banhidi claims that by using Skype each student gets an authentic experience and has access to their own personal tutor.

University of Texas at Dallas

History professor Monica Rankin has employed the “Twitter Experiment” to her classroom lectures for over a year now. She sets up Twitter accounts for her 300+ students and uses Twitter to encourage participation among them and organize and transmit topics, discussions and questions. In her syllabus, she assigns a hashtag to each class discussion topic making it easier for students to search and index those topics. During each class, the live feed of all tweets using the designated hashtag are projected on a large screen for all to see.

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