Written by Coby Enteen
Social networks are gradually becoming commonplace in the K-12 classrooms. Teachers have awoken to the fact that 12-18 year old’s spend much of their after-school hours socializing online, and they only started to realize the value of bringing this experience into the classroom.
I have personally had the opportunity to introduce a teacher controlled social learning platform in a recent 1-to-1 initiative in a large school district. Teachers received hands-on training using the Edmodo online tool to introduce topics, assign schoolwork, create classroom discussions and encourage student learning and inquiry both during the school hours and at home in the form of homework. The teacher training was voluntary and only 30% of the teachers attended the initial sessions. Within a two months of the training the number of teachers using social networks in the classroom doubled and it became a source of discussion in the teachers lounges.
Although social networks are viewed by most as a leisure activity, we must not forget that it is the voice of the young generation. It is the medium of speech and something that comes naturally to them. Therefore, the ‘natural’ place is in the classroom, and maybe we should consider it to be a learning network instead?
More information about teachers and social networks: