Two Simple, Practical Uses for Social Media in the Classroom

This Social Media thing, sounds like a good idea. But how do I make it work for me? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question. Here are two simple and easy ways you can incorporate Social Media tools into your classroom environment. Google Documents and Wikispaces.com.
Google Documents is a great resource for storing and sharing just about anything. I store practice quizzes, test reviews, labs and reading assignments. I upload an existing document or create one online and use Google’s sharing functionality to allow my students to access them whenever they like. Google Docs also allows me to give students to edit select documents or group assignments.
I use Wikispaces to organize my documents. For those of you unfamiliar with Wikis, I like to think of them as half blog half news forum. Sites like Wikipedia allow web users to edit posts on a particular subject that they have some knowledge about. I use Wikispaces to post links to specific documents and also to post lab assignments. The Wiki provides some general instructions for the lab and a link to any materials on Google Docs. I also allow students to add any suggestions to approaching the lab that other students and classes might find useful.
The added benefit is that I can easily modify and update my documents for future classes in one place. I use much less paper and I don’t ever have to hear the “I lost my sheet with the [fill in the blank]” from my students. They can always go back to the Wiki to get the link for the document. I hope I’ve given you a couple of ideas that you can use. You’ll find links to both sites below.

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