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Social Media in the 21st Century Classroom

We owe it to students to provide opportunities for them to benefit from an instructional
approach that carefully considers the collaborative design and research units to help develop the
skill sets needed and fully engage in meaningful learning experience (Ballard).

My Reflection
The use of social media in the 21st Century Classroom speaks to a wide range of
possibilities for engaging the student in the classroom. Todays students need more than just the
teacher standing in front of the classroom instructing on the core subjects. They also need to
learn the 21st century skills that will provide them with the tools and strategies to market
themselves in the globally competitive world of today.

Reflect on you learning about social media thus far.

Effective teachers that model and apply the ISTE Standards for Students, (ISTE
Standards-S) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage them in their
learning, recognize the importance presented to their improved creativity and learning potential.
Further, teachers that practice the ISTE Standards for Teachers, (ISTE Standards-T) find that
they are able to introduce a higher level of critical thinking as well as develop the students
digital literacy skills as to how to find, evaluate, synthesize, and present information. According
to the ISTE Standards T, As technology integration continues to increase in our society, it is
paramount that teachers possess the skills and behaviors of digital age professionals (ISTE
Standards - T). This is important because teachers have to become comfortable being digital


age thinkers in order to incorporate technology into the core standards. By doing so, students
should gain the skills and knowledge needed to learn effectively and live productive lives in
todays increasingly digital age. I recognize that it is no longer enough for students to just be
proficient in using technology as they do today on their social media sites, rather they have to be
able to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create, and then be able to utilize a
higher level of critical thinking to become a digital age citizen in our ever changing digital

What have you learned about the tools?

With this in mind as I reflection on the numerous social media tools my course in EDUC
775: Social Media has introduced me to, I realize the importance to my students of committing
these tools to paper for referencing once I enter the classroom. This is important because each
tool has a unique benefit to furthering the students learning potential through fostering their
higher level thinking as well as their critical thinking skills.

What connections have you made?

Most of the social media tools I reviewed have great potential for use in my classroom.
The benefit to my students will be far reaching to fostering their creative minds through their
analysis and use of these tools. For example, the students using Animoto to collaboratively
create a short thirty second video on a given project allows the students the opportunity to
expand their thinking to determine the most creative way to accomplish this task within the
stated timeframe, while still being able to get their point across within the limited timeframe.
Further, Mindmeister which is an online mind mapping application that provides a number of
powerful features for users to collaborate and brainstorm online, plan projects, develop business


strategies, create great presentations and utilize the enormous power of mind maps for their
education, gives students the opportunity to communicate and collaborate online with their peers
to further their creative skills. Looking at the value of other social media tools to the classroom
digital learning community the learning potential these tools provide to students are unlimited.
Even though these tools are seen as valuable to promoting learning in todays 21st Century
Classroom, we still have to be cognizant of the pros and cons of its use to the curriculum we are
implementing. This article on the Pros and Cons of Social Media Classrooms, Osborne, 2012,
provides a concise summary on how social media platforms can be used as a learning tool, and
what some of the advantages and disadvantages are to using these tools. Further, the following
articles, The Barriers to Using Social Media in Education and How to Use Social Media in
Education, shares with us how to be informed citizens in a digital community. This is important
because it provides us as educators with the knowledge to keep out students globally competitive
in our ever increasing digital environment.

What have I learned from my PLN Personal Learning Network?

When I think of the possibilities the use of social media tools has to offer towards
crafting my Personal Learning Network, I realize the importance of connecting and collaborating
with fellow educators to learn what they have to share regarding promoting learning in the
classroom to our young learners. The PLN I have established has opened doors to a network of
educators that are willing to share all aspects of their knowledge with their learning community.
Since I have created my personal learning network I recognize the value of Twitter to connecting
with a network of individuals with the same goals that I have. Also, my PLN has provided me
with an environment to share my reflections, questions, teaching strategies and goals with
individuals that can benefit from them as well as I can benefit from their input. This provides a


wonderful collaborative learning environment because the individuals share the same educational
goals as I do. Because this is so, I can communicate and collaborate with my PLN network to
find strategies, tools, solutions, methods and procedures, resources, and other items of interest to
assist me with providing a warm learning environment for my students to flourish in.

Where are you in connection to the National Educational Technology

Standards (NETS)?
When I look at this list of the best thirty-five web 2.0 classroom tools chosen by you
(Dunn, 2010) I realize I have a way to go to be familiar with the social media tools that are
available for use in the 21st classrooms. I recognize to be an effective teacher today, I will have
to model and apply the ISTE Standards for Teachers to engage and improve my students learning
potential. Also, that it will be necessary for me to continually keep abreast of my professional
development so I can pass the lessons learned on to my students to promote the ISTE Standards
for Students in this digital age.

Where would you like to go from here with what you have learned?
As I reflect on the lessons I have learned thus far regarding the use of social media in
todays 21st Century Classroom I envision entering that classroom empowered with the social
media tools that will inspire my students to want to use and apply themselves to learning at a
higher level of thinking. The classroom where the teacher continually stands up front teaching is
in the past. Teachers today have to recognize the need to represent the ISTE Standards for
Students in order to provide an avenue for their digital learning growth. By doing so, we provide
the potential for our students to compete in this digital age.


In sum, I now understand the true value of incorporating and applying social media tools
in the 21st Century Classroom. By doing so, students are able to apply creative thinking through
using technology to develop innovative products and processes. Technology provides students
with an outlet to express their creative side, where otherwise they would be unable to so if they
had to sit quietly listening to a teacher, teach at them, instead of to them. Further, as I reflect on
the value of using social media tools in the classroom, I see students wanting to own their
learning. Further, I recognize where they are able to understand and feel the value of
collaborating and communicating with their peers on a higher level, whereas normally they
would have been unable to do so. Social media tools allow students to apply critical thinking
and to make informed decisions as they work in todays digital age. Since most students today
are familiar and enjoy using social media tools, I recognize the value of capitalizing on their
enjoyment and using that enjoyment to their educational advantage to advance their learning


ENVIRONMENT FOR THE K-12 EDUCATOR New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.