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Sterling Spencer

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How might teachers implement sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube to engage students in their education?

Using today's social networking sites may be an excellent way to engage student in their education because students are already engaged in these sites. I could imagine a teacher taking video notes and then posting it to Youtube for the class.

The teacher may also make use of having a Twitter account. Instead of being forced to have all of the student's cell phone numbers, the students could just follow a teacher's classroom specific Twitter account. Using Twitter, the teacher could also post links to his/her Youtube videos.

This kind of thing could keep students thinking about school more.
What ways do you think teacher should implement social networking sites?


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    Mar 23 2012: Technology is great for increasing student involvement. Social sites are a waste of precious time and pose a serious distraction to students.
    Technology can reinforce group cohesion when the group produces something using technology. Perhaps videos, slide shows, music, art, cartoons, and poetry are sll things that can use technology, some from conception to presentation.
    We live in a media centric environment. Trying to teach without media is an indicator of poor community support. We have used media since film strips. Today students are producing movies.
    Anything that can focus student attention on what is to be learned is great. Social sites that distract their attention should be avoided.
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      Mar 23 2012: I have a friend who is taking an english class. He just told me that they were reading Hamlet and that the teacher had all of the students create Facebook profiles for each of the characters. He also said that it was fun and seemed to engage much more of the class than usual because they could design the profiles to match the characters and their relationships. He also said that the reason he thinks it was working was because the teacher kept close supervision over the project.

      So do you think that if social sites are at least used in the right way that they may be able to work for education?

      In this way it is still dependent on the teacher to engage the class, and that should be their goal.
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        Apr 10 2012: The key to a successful application of a social site is indeed teacher supervision. But why add that burden to the teacher when it is not necessary to use the real social site. A virtual social site within the classroom would work and not tempt the students to 'check out' their friend's real social site while they were 'working' on the Hamlet profiles.
        Students are very clever and have become expert at communicating via cellphone, iPad, and computer while they are supposed to be working. Adding another access portal to their repertoire only makes wasting time even easier. There are many ways to engage students without providing them more ways to goof off. I think teachers should be encouraged to find them and use them. Let's stay focused people.
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      Apr 8 2012: Jon,
      I am aging myself to say I remember film strips and the 33 and 1/3 records that narrated them. How things have changed for teachers and teaching.
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      Apr 12 2012: Who decides what constitutes a precious waste of time. Any learning is beneficial to the learner whether it's source is social networking or traditional media. The key word is 'relevance'

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