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Social Media in the Classroom

By Meghan Borg
Description: All of the recommendations except one found in this document are geared for a 7th
grade science class with the focus on life science. This document can also be accessed via this
Social Media Tool Brief Description Specific description of use
in the classroom including
obstacles to overcome,
concern, anticipated

Twitter This is an online tool that Twitter can be used to post allows users to post up to 140 what is going on in class in
lang=en character updates on terms of readings,
anything that they are assignments, and upcoming
interested in. Users can like tests and quizzes. It also can
or retweet any message provide a way that students
they want to promote. Users can ask questions of the
are also able to follow any teacher and classmates
other user they choose to. outside of class times. One
Users can follow others obstacle to Twitter use is that
based on specific interests to this may exclude some
gain access to the most students who dont have
recent news within the topic. access to technology outside
of school which may put them
at a disadvantage. It would
be particularly successful for
schools that dont maintain a
website so that parents and
students can easily check in
with the class to make sure
they are keeping track of
upcoming work.

Instagram This is a site/app that allows A specific use of this could be users to share visual to demonstrate the different
hl=en information such as pictures types of tectonic plate
and video with ones boundaries to classmates.
followers. Users can also After learning about the
follow others. Anyone can different plate boundaries,
follow public accounts but each pair of students would
must have permission to then be given clay and a
follow a private user. Users camera to document the
interact by liking the posts boundary type being
of other users or making demonstrated. Students
comments. would take three pictures that
show how the boundary type
interacts (divergent,
convergent, and transform
boundaries). Then students
would post their pictures on
instagram. Other students
would guess which boundary
was being demonstrated by
commenting below
classmates pictures. An
obstacle would be having
students keep their boundary
type a secret until they reveal
it at the end. A successful
integration of this project
would mean that students
see a variety of ways to
demonstrate each boundary
type and interest would be
generated in trying to
accurately guess what the
pictures show.

SlideShare This site allows users to I currently use this when I share presentations on any want to present a slide show
topic of choice. Users can on a specific topic in class.
make the presentations However, it can be better
private or public. They can used by having students
also download presentations examine two presentations
for later use. They can like on the same topic (for
presentations and also view example: plant and animal
how many other users have cells). Students determine
viewed presentations to see which one would be better to
which ones are most popular. present to the whole class as
a complement to what the
text has to say on the topic.
Students would determine if it
is appropriate to the
audience, it it is
comprehensive enough, and
which visuals are more
appealing. Obstacles for
students include having the
knowledge base to
successfully evaluate the
better presentation and
staying focused on the topic
at hand while having access
to a variety of other topics.
Through completion of the
assignment, students gain
experience in critical thinking
skills and using evidence to
support their argument.

Pinterest Pinterest allows users to Students can prepare for a collect sets of visual ideas in research project by using a
pin boards that feature a Pinterest board to brainstorm
common, user-selected potential scientists that they
theme. Users can explore would like to know more
topics of interest to them or about. After giving initial
learn something new. People exploration time, students
posting on Pinterest post can then narrow their choice
photos and links by topic. to the scientist that they want
Users can like and save to know more about. They
pins on their boards or can provide a background on
make comments. who the scientist was, what
the contribution to science
was, and how his/her work
influences science today.
Obstacles to this may be that
students have to leave
Pinterest once they have
chosen the scientist if there is
not enough information on
the site. This looks successful
when the images that
students choose piques their
interest so that they want to
find out more about the
scientist he/she chose.

Diigo Diigo is a digital note-taking Students will work in tool that allows users to collaborative groups to take a
compile information from the stance on cloning humans.
web through bookmarking They can use Diigo to collect
and tagging and then to use their web resources, annotate
tools from Diigo to comment, and highlight information on
highlight, and take notes on the site, and share with
the websites collected. Group others.Once students have
members can also comment collected enough information,
or ask questions on others they will use the information
comments to help the to determine if they are for or
conversation progress even against human cloning and
when the group is not provide evidence that
together in real life. Users supports their stance.
can also organize the sites Obstacles to this may be that
collected for easier access. students lack background in
some of the biological
mechanisms discussed in the
materials that they research.
Success means that students
have been exposed to
multiple viewpoints and that
they have taken ethical
concerns from both sides into
consideration when
determining their viewpoint as
a group.

YouTube YouTube is a video sharing Students can work in groups website that allows users to to create a commercial on the
search for videos on any importance of maintaining
topic as well as share their homeostasis by staying
videos. Videos can be shared hydrated. Videos should be
publicly or in private settings visually interesting, 60-90
that make it unable to be seconds long, and should
searched if unlisted or include at least 3 ways that
private. Logged in users can water impacts biological
also provide a review by functions. Then, groups will
giving a video a thumbs-up or present their commercials to
thumbs-down rating. They the whole group by uploading
can also make comments on them to YouTube. An obstacle
the video. Videos can be to is that in order to film the
shared easily by sending the video, students need access
link to a variety of other to a quiet area for filming.
platforms. Ambient noise can impair a
groups ability clearly
communicate their message.
Successful implementation of
this activity means that
students understand and can
explain how hydration
impacts a variety of organ
systems within the body.

WordPress WordPress is an online tool Students can maintain an that allows users to build a online portfolio of their
website for blogging and progress in science class
content management to throughout the year. At the
share with others in a public end of each major unit,
forum. Users can choose a students can write a one
theme for the site, share paragraph blog that describes
across other social platforms, the enduring
and follow other bloggers. understanding(s) that they
Readers can comment on the have through studying the
blog posts that they read. topic. Students can also
determine how the learning is
relevant in the real world
today and include this in their
reflective blog. An obstacle
that this assignment will
present to some students is
that they will have a difficult
time deciding what the
enduring understanding
should be; some students will
focus on the details they
studied rather than on the big
picture. Successes for this
project include gaining skills
for identifying main ideas and
being able to reflect on how
the big ideas for individual
units connect to other big
ideas throughout the year.

Weebly Weebly allows users to build Weebly can be used to build their own websites and share a class website that provides
them with the public. The site different types of evidence to
allows for easy drag and drop support the theory of
formatting of websites. evolution. Small groups will
each be assigned one of the
following topics:
1) Overview of the theory of
2) How relative and absolute
dating helps scientists
determine the age of fossils
3) Evidence for evolution for
a specific type of organism
(for example: humans, birds,
whales, dogs, etc.). There
can be as many pages
devoted to this as necessary
so that all groups present a
unique topic on their own
Once the class site is
complete, ask students to
determine which page best
communicates the
information and why.
Students cannot choose their
own group. Obstacles to this
may be that some page
topics may be less desirable
than others. Making sure that
all groups are interested in
the work could be a problem.
Successful implementation
means that students are
exposed to varied evidence
to support evolution and
apply critical thinking skills by
evaluating pages created by

Kidblog Kidblog is a site that allows Students can maintain a blog for students to publish a blog about all the experiments
only meant to be viewed by they perform throughout the
the teacher and others in the school year. At the end of the
classroom. It is designed for experiment, students
younger students in grades describe what the experiment
K-4, though older students tested and make a conclusion
may use it. Teachers monitor about the results based on
all content so that only data. Successful
approved content can implementation helps student
become public. see how the experiments
connect to the concepts
being discussed in class. The
most challenging obstacle to
using this site is finding the
time for students to complete
their blog once experiments
are complete.

ThingLink ThingLink is a website that I have used ThingLink to allows users to create an create a digital museum of
interactive image or video for extinct animals. Students
its audience. Users decide on were studying the geologic
an image to annotate and timeline and in order to
then add hotspot links on explore the Cenozoic,
the image. These links can Mesozoic, and Paleozoic
launch videos, pull up a eras students were each
webpage, or may be assigned a different extinct
information added by the user animal with each of the 3
uploading the image. eras represented equally.
Students chose a ThingLink
image to represent either
what the animal likely looked
like or a picture of the fossil
remains of the animal. Then
they had to add a number of
facts such as the time period
in which the type of animal
lived, its habitat, what it ate,
and other information. After
students had created their
ThingLink, they also had to
create a fossil with
hardened homemade
playdoh. Then we displayed
the fossil along with all the
students iPads, opened to
the ThingLink. Students were
given a scavenger hunt
worksheet to find out which
animals matched their unique
description in the digital
museum. There were a
couple of obstacles in this
assignment. One was that
some animals have less
information available for
research than others. The
other was that the iPads that
were not touched for a while
shut off and needed a
password to be restarted.
Successes for this activity
include gaining research
skills and could also include
an ability to generalize about
how the complexity and
variety of biological forms has
increased over time.

Answer Garden Answer Garden is a site that This site would be useful for a allows the teacher to ask a quick pre-assessment of what
question of the class and students know about the topic
gathers responses on the or following up on what they
teachers screen when have learned. For example, I
learners put in the code and usually begin the evolution
then input their answers. unit I teach with a 10
Teachers can opt to have Myths/Misconceptions about
respondents use 20 or 40 evolution. Students are given
characters. a statement, have to decide if
it is true or false, and indicate
the response. This site could
provide an alternate avenue
for that. Obstacles to using
this site include the lack of a
friendly user interface and the
fact that it would take longer
to use than just giving each
table a mini whiteboard and
having them jot a response.
Success means that students
who typically do not
contribute a response to a
group of peers may be more
comfortable sharing in an
anonymous setting.

Poll Everywhere Instructors can create a poll This is the type of activity I
https://www.polleverywhere.c with multiple question types would use after my students
om/ including true/false, multiple have completed assigned
choice, or free response. reading to check for
Responses occur on a comprehension. Questions
common screen so that should include all of the
learners can see them essential information covered
chronologically or as a word in the reading selection. An
cloud. Other features are obstacle while using this is
available if the paid version is that instructors do not know
used. Correct answers to which students respond to
questions are not displayed. the question. This does not
allow for specific formative
assessment since the teacher
cannot tell which students are
answering correctly,
incorrectly, or not at all.
Successful use of Poll
Everywhere would expose
inaccurate understandings
when it is clear that a majority
of the class did not interpret
the text correctly.

Kahoot Kahoot is a website that I use Kahoot frequently in my

allows teachers to create class to check for
For teachers: accounts in order to conduct comprehension and as a polls, facilitate discussions, review for tests/quizzes. One
have students participate in a such example is while
For students: sequencing activity called students are exploring the Jumble, and conduct quiz website: Go Go Stem Cells
games. Quiz games allow for as a class. The site interacts
multiple choice questions, as students press the links to
true/false questions, and fill- different stem cell niches.
in-the-blank formats. After learning about each of
Students can play the quiz the niches, students answer
games individually or in questions in the Kahoot
teams. Teachers can also (search meghanborg in
choose to display student to find the
scores or not and choose quiz). One of the obstacles
how long students have to that happens when using
answer each question. At the Kahoot is that some mobile
end of each question, the devices load content too
correct answer(s) are slowly so student response
displayed on the screen as can be delayed. Also
well as top scorers in the students are occasionally
game. Students can easily kicked out of the Kahoot and
play on their smartphone if then the class has to stop to
there are not enough allow the group to log back in.
laptops/tablets for the class to A successful Kahoot ensures
play. that all students in the class
are participating. Teachers
are able to access scores of
all students/groups after the
Kahoot to see how many
points the team earned and
the number of
correct/incorrect responses.

Google+ Google+ is a social Students can use Google+ to networking environment in form small groups with similar
which you can search and viewpoints. For example,
share interests or post after learning about genetics,
links/videos/thoughts to your students can watch a video
circles. It allows users to introducing GMOs, and read
customize their circles so that short articles in favor/against
information is shared more their use in agriculture. Based
toward the intended audience on their reading students will
rather than all of the users go to Google+ and decide
followers. In addition to those what their stance is on
features, users can also GMOs. They will post their
instant message one another thoughts and form groups of
and video chat. The video 3-4 based on similar opinions
chat feature allows up to 10 using Google+. Obstacles to
people to interact at a time. using Google+ include the
difficulty of navigating the
site. As an adult and
proficient social media user, I
had the most difficult time
orienting myself with
Google+. I would imagine that
students will also find it
clunky to use and will require
direct instruction on how to
post correctly and respond to
others on the site. A
successful use of the app
would mean that students
experience inclusivity in
forming their groups since
they are choosing to work
with peers that share their

Kaizena This app allows teachers to Kaizena can be used to interact with students as they provide feedback as students
read their work. Teachers use develop lab reports that
voice comments to discuss include a question,
student work as a comment hypothesis, materials,
alongside the document. methods, data, and a
Teachers can record audio or conclusion. For example,
include a written comment. students develop a lab report
Additionally links to lessons when they conduct an
can be embedded in the experiment on seed
feedback section and it links germination based on their
to Google drive for storing own choice of growth medium
student work and creating and methods for set up. This
documents. process can be difficult
because students often skip
steps in the methodology for
steps that they feel are
obvious. Reminders in
Kaizena as they write these
methods up will help students
be more clear in elucidating
all steps involved in setting
up the experiment. Obstacles
in using Kaizena seem to be
few, other than getting
everyone set up with the
Google account and showing
them an example of what the
feedback might look like.
Success will be evident when
students improve in their
ability to write detailed
methods, record accurate
data, and make conclusions
based on the