Blended learning is the merging of online and traditional learning. You incorporate multimedia elements to make the learning process more fun for the students. But beyond the videos, audio and other multimedia tools that you can use, you might want to think about using social media and incorporating it into the classroom.
Social media can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it effectively. As a learning tool, you have already won half the battle. The students are already engrossed in it. According to the data on SocialMediaNews.com, Facebook has more than 15 million users alone. Instagram users have 5 million active users each month while YouTube has 14 million users. You can bet that students are among the users – especially when it comes to Facebook.
You can assume that at one point or another, the lessons will be competing with social media for attention. Instead of fighting, why not make them work together? Why not incorporate social media into the lesson? Blended learning can make this possible.
Here are some tips that will help you incorporate Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in your lessons.
This social networking site is the most popular on the Internet. If there is one platform that you should use, it is this. You can start by creating a page for the class. Make sure this has a private setting. Give the students access so they can view this page all the time. You can post updates and links to resources that you want the students to open. You can also post situations, problems, scenarios and topics that students can comment on. Feel free to create activities that they can accomplish through this platform. This is the perfect opportunity to teach them about the right ethics when it comes to the use of social media. Encourage them to be respectful and tactful before posting. They are encouraged to be opinionated but to also be respectful of the thoughts and opinions of others in the group.
This should be a fun platform to use in blended learning – although a bit more tricky than Facebook. There are two ways that you can use this social media network. First, you can give the students resource links to videos that they can watch. These videos should help supplement the lessons being taught in the classroom. Another way to use this is to encourage them to create their own videos and post it online. Allow them to comment on the videos of every group and to discuss thoughts and criticisms about it. This can be a great project for the class.
Finally, you can use Instagram to help bring out the creativity of the students in the class. Come up with topics and create a hashtag that the student have to use. Then ask the students to post a photo that is related to that topic – making sure that the hashtag is used to connect it to the lesson. You can even ask them to post a photo interpretation of a past lesson. This is also a great tool to help in immersion projects. For instance, if you want them to personally experience something, you can have them go to that location to gain experience and post a photo to prove that they did the project.
There are other social media sites that you can use to incorporate in your lessons in the classroom. Use blended learning to make them work well together to come up with a great lesson for the whole class. This will not only make them interested in the lesson, they will also admire you for tapping into something that they are already passionate about. When they start enjoying the lesson, that can help them fall in love with the idea of learning something new.
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