Raise your hand if you are one of the few technology users amongst your staff at your school. Now keep your hand up if you have other teachers asking you about all these newfangled social media tools, what they are and how to use them.
There are lots of great social media tools out there these days that have really opened up the conversation and sharing of educational tools, resources and ideas. However, these tools can be very intimidating for those teachers who don’t have a lot of experience in using these social media tools, let alone integrating them into the classroom.
Edudemic recently came out with an article on some online courses for social media beginners that make a great beginning step towards helping them begin using these powerful tools and to also see the potential for their use in the classroom. The article lists a series of five courses, which are free, covering Pinterest, Learnist, Google, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. They also provide free courses on using the iPad, making your own infographics, WordPress, and browsing the web. Once you have done those courses, you can also find other great courses to go through which range from beginner to more experienced users of technology in the classroom.
The site states that:
Modern Lessons is a free tool for teachers, startups, students, executives, country leaders, developing nations, and everyone else looking to boost their skills. We’re currently specializing in offering mini-courses designed to help those relatively new to technology, teachers, startups, business owners, and others. We’re also building some paid premium courses that will go a bit more in-depth where needed.
We figured it’d be helpful to make the online learning platform as simple as possible, as useful as possible, and as cost-effective as possible. That’s why there aren’t a ton of features (that’s a feature in itself!) and basically all courses are free.
Of course, there are other sites that you can direct teachers to or try out yourself, if you are interested in learning more about the various social media tools.
The new HP Catalyst Academy has some nice courses which look like they are for more experienced practitioners of technology in the classroom, but they do have an interesting course on “Applications of Social Media for STEMx Teaching”, where they offer educators the opportunity to,
gain a better understanding of how social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be leveraged for teaching and learning. Participants will specifically learn how to integrate social media into STEMx curriculum to: (1) engage students in insightful discussions, (2) build thriving STEMx-focused online communities, and (3) help students discover new areas for informal STEMx learning.
These courses require you to actually register for the course as they happen on certain dates. However, the site itself has some interesting courses to look through, especially for some who want something a little more rigorous once they have mastered the basics of using social media.
Finally, Learnfree.org has some great social media courses for beginners that go through the basics with videos and easy to understand notes. They cover many of the major social media tools and would be a good starting point for beginning technology users. In addition, most of the sites have tutorials or guides to their use. For example, Edmodo, a different kind of social networking tool that allows parents, teachers and students to connect to each other and to others around the world in a safe environment, has a great teacher’s manual which you can find at https://support.edmodo.com/home#teacher
All of these sites have great resources for teachers at any level of technology use. Check them out: