Used both personally and professionally throughout the day, social media has become a natural part of how society communicates. While most people may be familiar with sites like Facebook and Twitter for personal use, or LinkedIn for professional networking, and the plethora of dating sites out there, lesser known are the sites and apps that are helping today’s teachers connect across the globe.
The internet has taken notice of how many educators have taken to mainstream social media and an outcropping of teacher-specific sites have popped up in recent years. In an attempt to give K-12 educators a more tailored experience, these sites aim to provide a safe environment to connect students, parents, and other educators.
Twiducate, Edmodo, and Wikispaces Classroom are all billed as safe sites for educators who want to be able to control who is in and what is shared on their network. These sites are especially supportive for elementary school educators.
For teachers that want to keep students engaged and learning away from school, there are sites that utilize a gaming environment as a part of their social media. MinecraftEdu allows students to collaborate and problem solve while learning the teacher-customized curriculum. Geared more toward younger students, Sumdog is another site that cleverly uses gaming and social media to keep students engaged in and out of the classroom.
There are many school districts that are jumping on the social media bandwagon and setting up course management systems like Blackboard and NEO LMS. Sites like these are making it possible for schools to connect and manage their networks at a district level.
Social networking in schools creates a natural progression for educators to be able to connect with students and parents and to collaborate with other classrooms across the world. Keeping connected through mobile devices while away from the classroom is a great way to keep students engaged and learning in this ever evolving tech savvy world.