Technology & Social Media as Educational tools

I am sure many teachers have some boring topics that have to be taught, but they know the kids are off thinking about something else when they are trying to teach it.   Well we also know if you use what the kids are interested in and using daily, they will get involved and the information will stick.  The results can be very surprising!

Found an article today where a teacher used (sort of) MySpace and/or Facebook project to teach a very boring topic of trying to introduce an authors background before moving to reading a book.

Before reading a piece of classic literature, I always like to give background on the author. Before reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” I do a small lesson on the back ground of Edgar Allan Poe that details his tragic life and times. My goal is for the students to tie the author’s personal experiences to the literary term “author’s purpose”, but I didn’t know of a great way to do this. Usually, I would copy off a page of information about the author, we would read it together, and that was that. Students would wander during the reading and zone out, not interested at all in the boring piece I had revamped from the encyclopedia or photo-copied out of our literature book. The students were not retaining and certainly not caring about the author’s background. 
I am sure there are many other lesson plans that could be created using the technology the kids use, you have to be creative and take the time to get involved in today’s technology.   This article with the changes to MySpace that just happened, might be a little out of date – for the above exercise you would today be better served using Facebook.
Simple exercise my daughters 6th grade teacher put into place was a BLOG (FREE) for the classroom.  He had a student each day post something on the blog, usually about the days activities.  This exposed the kids to a BLOG, it got them thinking about the day and it also get them writing something that everyone else could see – including their parents.  He also used the blog as a method to communicate home work, projects and special dates that the students or parents could review at home.  I thought this was a great idea! 
FREE Blog Services – You’re in one currently called, it takes about 10 minutes to set up the blog, then you start posting.  Another service is Google’s BLOGGER, again very easy and both are FREE.

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Filed under Books, Education, Social Media

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