Educating on Social Media Platforms
With social media becoming more integral to our everyday lives, it’s making inroads into schools all over the country. Educators and students are using Facebook for everything from communicating with each other about assignments to playing educational games for class credit. Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a Facebook page, and he posts videos and takes questions from parents, teachers and students. Once seen as a distraction, education is embracing Facebook and finding real value in its possibilities.
Teachers in all disciplines can find new and innovative ways to incorporate Facebook into their classes, but it could be best to start with the fundamentals first. Once teachers learn to use the social media platforms for basic tasks, they can move on to more complex and fun activities for their classes.
How to create a ‘teacher’ Page
With more than 800 million users, chances are most teachers have a personal Facebook page. Using your personal page to communicate with your students, however, is a recipe for disaster; aside from the possibility of students finding some of the content on your page objectionable, you run the risk of having your Facebook profile inundated with student posts and other activities. As a rule, teachers shouldn’t friend students from their personal Facebook accounts; instead, teachers can create a Page for themselves and their classes.
To get started, type ‘create’ in your Facebook search bar and select ‘Create New Facebook Page.’ Next, choose ‘Company, Organization or Institution’ as the type of Page you’d like to create, and choose ‘Education’ as your Page category. Now, you’re ready to choose your settings—you don’t have to be as cautious with a Page as you would with your personal profile, so you can allow your students to post text, photos and video. Students can like a teacher’s Page and use it as a hub to post messages, assignment questions, and discussions about subjects covered in class.
How to create a Facebook ‘take-home’ quiz
Facebook can be more than just a place for students to communicate with their classmates and teachers; teachers can use several Facebook resources to create tests and quizzes for their students. Facebook’s Quiz Creatorapp makes it easy for teachers to create quizzes their students can take either in-class or at home. To create a quiz with Quiz Creator, search for the app and click ‘Go to,’ then enter basic information about the quiz you’d like to create, including the name and an accompanying photo. You’ll enter the answers first, then the questions that correspond with each answer. Once you’ve entered your questions, click ‘Next,’ then invite your students to take the quiz. You can use this app for in-class review sessions, or allow students to take the quizzes at home for credit. This is also a useful tool for online learning and engaging students who are enrolled in distance courses.
Facebook’s utility in education is still being discovered, as teachers find new and exciting ways to engage their students with online educational resources. And while teachers should use caution when introducing new elements of technology into their teaching, social media opens a new world of options for education as a whole.
Lindsey Paho is a professional technology writer. She lives in the Indianapolis area and is currently working on her Master’s Degree.