Recently, the i-Pathways team provided a webinar designed to explore social media resources and discuss how these tools can be utilized in the adult education classroom. The tools explored included Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress. Below is a brief summary of these tools with links to tutorials and information about getting started with the tool of your choice.
Pinterest is a free bulletin board which allows you to organize and store favorite videos, images articles found anywhere on the web. You can follow other educators and students can follow you – creating a learning community. As a professional development tool, Pinterest allows you to interact with leading thinkers in technology and education as well as follow current trends. As a teaching tool, it allows you to find ideas and tips for creating engaging lessons. In order to get started with Pinterest, follow these steps.
- Go to http://www.pinterest.com and create an account.
- Drag the Pinterest Bookmarklet to your tool bar. This allows you to pin (store) images from the web to your Pinterest account.
- Create as many boards as you would like in order to organize your resources.
- Make your board titles clear and specific and organize your pinned content in a way that makes it easy for people to follow.
- When you create a board, write a description about the board so others can recognizes its purpose.
- When you pin content, add a brief summary so students know why they should look at the link.
Twitter is another tool that many educational professionals use. When using twitter, the hasthag, #, enables you to be part of larger conversations. You can ask for help from experts, make professional acquaintances, and / or communicate with your students. Some popular hashtags in adult education are #adulted, #disted, and #GED.View this brief tutorial in order to get started.
Facebook is where students spend a great deal of time. They have conversations with their friends and follow favorite sites. Using Facebook can be a great way to share information and engage students in your program’s events. https://www.facebook.com/safety/groups/teachers/
Finally, blogs in the classroom can provide you with a tool to provide students with a depth of information. Consider putting information that you will use often such as orientation, tips and strategies for being a successful student, and student success stories.
The key to being successful with any social media tool is to have a clear vision. What is your expected outcome? To build an instructional resource? To market your program? To build a communication tool with students? To participate in professional development? Once you have a vision and a goal, then – create your tool.