The purpose and primary goal of this campaign is to improve communication, engagement, and ultimately learning with students through the use of social media platforms. Young people today are very familiar with social media and use these platforms as a primary form of communication. Teachers are able to utilize social media in order to gain their students engagement and interest within the classroom. By creating a classroom page on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the teacher would be able to post daily reminders for homework and assignments. Students are so engaged and immersed in social media, so by including their school work into this world, it would make more sense to them and serve as a constant reminder. Because students are already familiar with this form of communication, it will make sense to them to incorporate their schoolwork within these social communities. Through using social media as an outlet to communicate with students, teachers are better able to engage their students and increase their participation and involvement in class, ultimately increasing their grades and level of learning.
The major problem that is being addressed within this campaign is the lack of engagement with students in the classroom. One of the biggest challenges as a teacher is connecting the information learned within the classroom to make it relevant to the students’ lives. As many students walk out of the school at the end of the day, they put school behind them and don’t think about it until they walk back in the door the next morning. In order to create an environment where students are thinking about school and their education even after they leave, teachers can utilize social media platforms. By incorporating the education into the students’ social lives, home lives, and personal lives through social media, it is possible to make it an integral part of their thoughts, even when they are not at school.
As this topic is relatively new within the educational community, there may be questions and concerns from educators and parents. Geraldine Blattner and Melissa Fiori, authors of “Facebook in the Classroom: Premises and Possibilities,” believe that “educators need to adapt their pedagogical posture to incorporate useful and versatile e-tools that will enhance the quality of their classrooms, guide learners to utilizing various e-tools for academic purposes, create a dynamic learning environment, and promote critical thinking” (Blattner and Fiori 18). While young adults and students may be immersed in social media, some of the teachers, parents and administrators of the school may not be as informed or understanding in regards to social media platforms. In an effort to educate those individuals to get them involved within the social media-education campaign, there are programs and companies available for assistance. EdSocialMedia is a company which offers many opportunities to school districts, parents, and educators in regards to social media training and use within the classroom. This company offers social media auditing, in which they will thoroughly audit and evaluate educational social media platforms for effectiveness and suggest possible improvements. This company also offers educational “bootcamps” in which educators and parents can learn about social media and how it can be used to help educate their students.
Because students are the target demographic of this campaign, it is important to understand how their use of social media would affect their education. Using social media in the classroom is a progressive and effective way to improve the engagement and overall education of students. Research from Colombia University suggests that “most students - more than 80%, by some estimates - are already active on Facebook” and that through using Facebook as a social media platform, it is possible to make education relevant to students (Preston 5). This form of communication between educators and students increases student motivation and accessibility towards education. Through this increased accessibility and relevance, “students may be enthusiastic about participating in course activities within Facebook” (Preston 5). With increased enthusiasm and participation, student learning will increase, and therefore grades will go up as well.
Through utilizing the forms of communication that students are already using, teachers can increase participation and engagement within the classroom. Students are fully immersed and involved with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and although educators and parents may not be as familiar, there are many tools available to help integrate this type of platform into the classroom. Improving student learning and engagement in the classroom can definitely be accomplished through accurate and appropriate use of social media platforms. As technology grows and changes, it is imperative that educators learn to adapt to these changes in order to maximize their student’s ability to learn. Through using social media, teachers are able to give their students the best chance to learn and succeed.
Blattner, Geraldine and Fiori, Melissa. Facebook in the Language Classroom: Promises and Possibilities. Web. Retrieved 19 Sept 2012. http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_09/Jan_09.pdf#page=18
Ed Social Media. “Exploring the Role of Social Media in Education” EdSocialMedia.com Retrieved 11 Sept 2012.
Preston, Michael. Colombia University. Facebook in the Classroom. 3 February 2011. Web. Retrieved 19 Sept 2012. http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/enhanced/primers/facebook_in_the_classroom.html