Social Media and Education

Social media can be used as an effective tool to help increase collaboration, communication, and cooperation skills in students. It can also provide a way for teachers and students to become more interactive. In this course, participants will discuss the pros and cons of using social media for learning. Participants will explore the ways in which educators can use social media to create an environment for personal learning networks. The theory and practice of gamification and formative assessment will also be covered. The course project includes a product that can be used to increase the instructional use of social media by students for learning. Participants may choose to complete the course project on their own or in collaboration with one or two other participants. Each participant is also required to provide other participants with feedback regarding their course projects.

Allow 5 - 7 hours per session for completion of all requirements.

This is a course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other interested school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers.  In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.

Course Goals and Objectives:
During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Understand what effective social media use looks like in the classroom.
  • Know the pros and cons of using social media to improve learning.
  • View examples of teachers who use social media in the classroom and understand why they have chosen to use this method.
  • Search and become familiar with social media tools that will assist them in the implementation of 21st century learning practices in the classroom.
  • Understand how the gamification of learning can help to increase student engagement.
  • Search and become familiar with strategies, pedagogy, and Web 2.0 tools to help implement the formative assessment process.

Complete and upload a product that will be used to integrate social media in the classroom.

Course Requirements:
This course is divided into six one-week sessions, each of which includes readings, an activity, and an online discussion among course participants. The time for completing each session is estimated to be between five to seven hours. Participants are expected to be engaged in course activities for approximately 30 hours during the six-session (week) course.

Discussion Participation:
Students will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation.  Students are required to post a minimum of two substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and one that responds to an existing thread.  Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.  Postings that respond to other students will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone.  Each week a new question will be posted to the discussion board for participants to answer and respond.

Required Readings, Activities and Assignments:

Orientation: (1-2 hours)
Participants will prepare for the course with an introductory reading and ice breaker activity. Participants will read tip sheets for participating in online discussions, credit information, and complete an orientation survey.

Session One:  Social Media for Learning (5-7 hours)

In this module, we will explore the important aspects surrounding the use of social media for improving student learning. With this approach, you will be able to form your own opinions about the benefits or obstacles to student learning that this educational trend would hold for your classroom or school.

Session Two:  What are PLNs and PLEs? (5-7 hours)

In this module, we’ll explore the concepts of Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), social media tools that enable people to engage in 21st century learning within the global learning community. We’ll discuss the ways in which educators and students can use social media tools to build their personal learning networks.

Session Three: Using Social Media Tools to Manage Course Content and Assignments (5-7 hours)

As you begin to incorporate social media into your lessons, you will need a “home base” (the place where your content and assignments live) and a system for delivering and grading the assignments. There are many options for your “home base” and some of them also provide a way to deliver the materials and assignments to your students. You may want to integrate various social media tools into the platform that you are using as a “home base”. Alternatively, some social media platforms, such as Facebook, can be used as “home bases”.

Session Four:  The Gamification of Learning(5-7 hours)

Social learning can be used to, not only enhance students’ communication and collaboration skills, but it can also make learning more fun for students, thereby increasing student engagement in the learning process. In this module, you will explore gamification theory and techniques and social media tools that help educators implement the principles of gamification in the classroom.

Session Five:  Assessment Theory and Practice in 21st Century Classrooms (5-7 hours)

What does assessment look like in a 21st Century classroom? In this module, you will explore the elements of the formative assessment process. You will also deepen your knowledge around the optimization student learning by using effective feedback and student self- and peer-assessment techniques. We will focus on strategies, pedagogy, and Web 2.0 tools to help implement the formative assessment process.

Session Six:  Integrating Social Media in the Classroom(5-7 hours)

The reading assignments for this final module are brief. This will allow time for you to complete your final project for this course. The instructions for your final project assignment are included in this module. After you have completed your final project, post it in the Module Six discussion forum. You are required to give feedback to at least two other participants.

Final Project:

The final project is intended to be a culmination of the participant’s learning during the course. The instructor will offer some ideas for your project but the participant will ultimately make the final decision on the idea. The participant will also submit an artifact to show evidence of implementation of the project and complete a post-project reflection.


Registration for this course is now closed.

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