Social Media in the classroom

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Nearly 80% of children under the age of 5 use the Internet on at least a weekly basis in the United States, according to this report from Joan Ganz Cooney Center released Monday. But what’s the best age to teach kids about social media? Due to the policy of Twitter and Facebook they can’t open an account unless they’re 13 years or older. So just wait?

Today I found a nice case about Twitter in the Class room. Kelly Tenkely (@ktenkely) has setup a social media program where social media is used as an effective tool for reflection and communication with the school community but also teaches the kids about social media.

Students as story tellers

It’s all started with the question of the school management how social media could be used to tell others about the school. Social media isn’t a broadcasting platform. So Kelly recommended to give the students a role in telling the story, they have the most authentic voice, and a unique perspective within the school. As a solution for the age requirements, class accounts where set up for social media combined with rules for teachers and rules for students to follow when using social media.

She created a classroom account for every staff member in the school and connected each classroom Twitter account with a classroom fan page on Facebook. Commenting, photo, and video are turned off on the page until teachers are comfortable enough and want to interact.

Learning social media by doing it

Classes share, reflect, engage, inquire, and report on learning. They also use the Twitter accounts to connect with other classrooms and experts. Students are not permitted to post to the accounts without the teachers permission.

So students are involved for learning opportunities but also learn the proper use of social media. Junior conversation managers!