25 Excellent Social Media Sites for Teachers
Are you a teacher who wants to increase collaboration and skill development to students? Teamwork can increase these skills, as students can learn how to communicate, cooperate and compromise on decisions together. What better way to teach these skills than through social media?
The following sites provide a means for teachers and students to become more interactive. While you already may use some tools listed below, other networking platforms may offer new avenues to pursue in your goal to help students understand that social media can be used for more objectives than socializing. At the same time, in an age where boundaries between public and private life are blurring and personal reputations are defined by search results, you can have a hand in monitoring and defining a student’s online identity.
The following sites are listed alphabetically under two categories — one with links to share with students and another with links just for educators. In addition to the link to the social media site, some items in the list also contain links to tools that may help you transition to new platforms or help enhance the work you currently share with your students.
Share with Students
- Blackboard: You may not have thought about Blackboard as a social media tool, but it offers all the interactivity you can desire with students and with parents. Corporations and nonprofit organizations now use this platform to stay in touch with employees and members, for educational purposes and to increase organizational performance.
- Box.net: Connect and collaborate on a platform that seamlessly integrates with Google, Autodesk, Zoho, WordPress and Picnik.
- Cramster: If you don’t feel possessive about your students, then introduce them to this social media tool that is focused on tutoring and education in math, science, engineering and business topics. Geared toward high school students and higher, parents and educators also can get involved.
- Del.icio.us: Embrace your inner bookmarker with a tool that offers a way to share links as a means to help students learn. Social bookmarking, using keywords, simplifies the distribution of reference lists, bibliographies, papers and other resources among students as well. Introduce your students to libraries that use del.icio.us, and you can teach them how to use this tool as an information organizer.
- Ecto: Try this collaborative learning environment on for size. It is a student-centered environment that allows teachers and parents to participate. And, it’s free.
- Edu2.0: Use this free and easy way to teach and learn online. Teach private or public classes accessible from any Web browser, create and share lesson plans and more in over ten languages.
- Edublogs: Edublogs is a free blog hosting solution for teachers that runs on the WordPress MU platform, so teachers have access to all current WordPress features. Additionally, each blog comes with 100MB of free storage space for images and files and there are no limits on bandwidth.
- Flickr: If you haven’t used this social media platform for education, then you might want to visit FlickrEDU to learn how photographs can enhance an educational experience. Be aware that some school districts have banned photo sharing because of “objectional content” on some photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, Photobucket, Shutterfly, Snapfish and more.
- Google Docs: You might not think of a utility as a social media platform, but Google Docs provides a way to collaborate, share and discuss documents, spreadsheets and presentations in a private environment. Go to Google for Educators to learn more about how to use this resource and other Google educational tools.
- Moodle: This virtual learning environment is free to use, and it includes a myriad of ways to build ‘community’ in the classroom.
- Social Media Classroom: Known as SMC, this download offers teachers a way to build a site filled with blogs, wikis, RSS and video. This is an open source Drupal-based Web service. You also can created a hosted version of the SMC.
- TeacherTube: Add this site to YouTube as a means to share instructional videos. TeacherTube, however, is more inclined to provide a safe venue for teachers, schools and home learners. Also, try School Tube for more video sharing in a safe environment.
- Twitter: Do you use Twitter as a teaching tool? Learn how to use Twitter in the classroom and find resources and links to help define your project through Twitter for Teachers, a “collaborative effort to teach teachers about Twitter.”
- WikiEducator: Use wikis to plan educational projects and develop content for that project. When you create a WikiEducator account, you receive free wiki skills training. WikiEducator isn’t the only wiki on the block (note Wikis in Education as another example). Visit SHTM Teacher’s Wiki’s article, “A Naked Wikie: How to use Wikis for Teaching and Learning,” for more information.
- Zumeo: Help students get started with their careers on Zumeo. Geared for high school or college students, this site can provide information on jobs and internships as well as new connections as students discover their strengths.
For Teachers Only
- 4Teachers: If you want to learn how to teach with technology, or if you want to hone your current skills and teach others what you know, then this venue might be for you. Learn about new tools, get support and stay on top of your game.
- Classroom 2.0: Join this community to learn more about Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education. Use peer support to learn more about social media tools listed here, or other tools that can enhance your teaching experience.
- EDU4DRR: Join this social network by and for teachers and educators who want to make a difference in disaster prevention education.
- Facebook: Face it — Facebook has come a long way as far as reputation is concerned. While concerns over privacy still exist for younger students, you can join Facebook simply to gain access to groups such as Social Media Guidelines for Educators, where you can join the discussion surrounding social media guidelines for schools and school districts.
- LinkedIn: Stay connected with peers in a professional environment that allows you to share your resume and skills. This site is a must for those who understand that few jobs last forever.
- Ning: Not only can you build a community using this platform, you can join any community that exists now. Search for your subject or for your grade level to find a community filled with supportive members.
- Promethean Planet: Billed as “the world’s largest interactive whiteboard community,” this site offers support for teachers through searchable resources, lessons, educational Web links and many more tools.
- ProTeacher Community: This is a community for school teachers in grades PreK-8. Participants mostly are from the U.S., but guests from around the world are invited.
- TeacherLingo: Tryout this educational community that connects teachers from every educational level.
- We the Teachers: Find teachers in your neighborhood or from around the world to share lesson plans and other classroom resources.
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