Engaging with Students via Social Media is Key to Higher Level Learning
Digital Technologies Are Key to Engaging Students & Learning At Higher Levels in Today’s Classrooms
By Cameron Thomas
Do you ever wish there was an app that would let you use social media and web-based technology in a creative way? Such apps would allow students to express themselves in ways that make them instantly more marketable and more inclined to graduate on time. What if you could utilize these technologies to remove all of the insecurity from the workplace and increase their self-esteem?
The overall success of a teacher hinges on developing trusting relationships with students. However, this cannot be achieved when students struggle to express themselves or do not know how to do so with the right tools.
The presence of social media tools in the classroom directly helps to break down barriers for students to express themselves. Students often use social media sites like Twitter to communicate with other students and receive inspiration from their peers. Equally as important is when they can use these tools to express their opinions without the negativity often associated with using such platforms on a regular basis. Some of the ways that teachers can enable and embrace social media in the classroom is by leveraging these tools as critical building blocks for digital literacy.
In addition to enabling teachers to learn more about how students use social media for learning, digital tools can also benefit students when it comes to improving self-esteem. Using Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, or anything related to social media does not have to be too intimidating. It can be as simple as asking students to take a self-portrait and submit it to their profile. While they may not have skills on or off the device, this still opens the door for teachers to assess and provide instruction on the appropriate use of social media.
Students have revealed that using apps like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram not only help them improve their skills in math and other subject areas, but also helps them have a clearer vision of what they want to accomplish with their lives. Using a variety of apps to remove the stress of homework assignments and social media usage, can help students achieve academically as well as academically improve their self-esteem.
Professionals in various fields of study have expressed how technology plays a vital role in their daily work. “The classroom should be a creative place for any student,” said Phillip Strassburger, a Cal State Fullerton graduate, a project manager at Apple Inc., and author of University Explores Digital Innovations In Teaching. “A classroom is not meant to be passive or monotonous, but a place to inspire thought and to shape a person’s potential.”
He goes on to say, “Using social media — especially the internet — allows students to self-express and connect with others. As a result, they may get a sense of self-worth. They are not presented with a daily platform of hate. Using social media allows them to define themselves, grow as human beings, and earn social prestige. This sense of achievement fuels their desire to succeed and take action.”