Embrace social media in your classroom without fear!

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By Aaron Maurer, TAG member, Bettendorf Middle School

How can educators AND students embrace the power of social media in the classroom? How about they create an account for their robot to update the world on its latest upgrades? What if the robot squad builds a website to share what they are learning and working on? Or they could take things a step further by connecting with experts and professionals to learn more and to help troubleshoot?

Social media isn’t scary.

If we want students to be positive members of the digital world, we must model and lead by example. We must also allow them to navigate the world to understand how we can use social media for learning and engagement.

Who knows . . . maybe one day that professional or expert they connect with could potentially be an employer.

For example, a typical day in Coffeechug Cafe would be students working on various projects based on their interests or a problem that needs to be solved. During the work process, they’ll take pictures and share them on social media outlets, such as Twitter and Instagram, using hashtags #makerspace, #makered, and a few others depending on the project to showcase what students are doing to enhance their learning.

We also have a very dedicated group of students who have created their own channel, @BMS_Theory, where they’ve started to produce weekly YouTube shows, a website, a Twitter handle, and an Instagram handle (BMS Theory and Twitch Go Live on Social Media). The goal is to help guide, teach, and provide an opportunity to showcase their work and build up a resume. The project started just as the year ended, but they are excited to start things back up this school year.

Finally, if a project really shines or a powerful teachable moment develops, I will write up a blog post on my website.

How do you use social media in your classroom?

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Ashlee Ricks

I am the Marketing Events Coordinator for Pitsco Education, where I manage all aspects of Pitsco's conventions. I also coordinate a Teacher Advisory Group, which facilitates classroom activities and product reviews. I have contact with a wide variety of Pitsco's current customers and teachers and work diligently to stay abreast with Pitsco's abundant product and curriculum offerings.

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