David Shibley


Utilizing Social Media in the Social Studies Classroom

About me

Hello, my name is David Shibley. I went to SUNY Oneonta for degrees in Adolescent Education in Social Studies and History. I have always enjoyed using technology to create interactive and engaging lesson plans. As a result, I am pursuing a graduate degree in CDIT at SUNY Albany. I currently work in Gloversville Enlarged School District as a substitute teacher. I have had the pleasure of doing a long term position helping the New York State Teacher of the Year for 2015. During this time, I was able to take our students on a trip to Washington DC. The picture are my students and me. I am the second from the left.

Washington DC Picture.png

My Topic/Purpose

Social media has had a profound impact on our lives today. We have substantially more access to information thanks to social media. Despite this, most students do not view social media sites as educational tools and schools themselves may ban them because of this. This course is designed to examine the educational benefits of social media in the social studies classroom. In this course participants develop a "social network" for famous historical figures during a section of history as a final project to demonstrate their knowledge of using social media in an educational context. The two primary modes of doing this is through Facebook and Twitter. If those are banned Fakebook is a nice educational alternative. A major note is that the instructor should make sure to enforce any the kind of language used. Some topics may be graphic in nature and as a result this may be best for a Fakebook account.


  • The learners will be able to discuss and evaluate the strengths of social media in the classroom.
  • The learners will be able to facilitate the design of a "Social Network" for their students.
  • The learners will be able to design a form of evaluation for the social networks the students create.

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem Students have access to wealth of knowledge through the use of social media. Despite this, schools tend to frown upon the use of social media. Schools will view it as a time waster at best, and a source for cyber bullying at worst. This argument can be countered by introducing students to propers ways to use social media. Show them that Facebook has a wealth of information in it that they can access. This kind of knowledge can be used for educational purposes. Teachers just tend to be afraid to do it.

Solution Social studies teachers taking this course will introduced to a number of unique ways to use social media in the classroom. They will also be taught a bit on internet etiquette and ways to transfer that knowledge to the students that they teacher. This is a relatively new front for education, and the amount of knowledge that transfers through social media is vast. We should be teaching students how to tap into it.

Analysis of the Learner and Context

Learner Analysis The learners will comprise of K-12 teachers primarily in the Social Studies field. The lesson is possible to adopt to different practices, but will be given in the context of a Social Studies perspective. The class will also be examining the power of social media on society today. These are all areas that can relate directly to the Social Studies curriculum. The learners should also have some familiarity with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The learners will be introduced to alternate site if those are blocked by their school district.

Context of Instruction Students will be taking the class through the wiki page. As a result, the class will be asynchronous and students will be able to start and complete the class at their own progress. They have a number of ways to self reflect on the material they are learning. This can also act as a way to help the learners to prepare to model a similar lesson plan for their students.

Performance Objectives

Once the students have completed this course they will be able to:

  • Identify impacts social media has on society today
  • Utilize social media pages Twitter, Facebook and Fakebook in the classroom.
  • Create a Social Media page dedicated a famous historic individual
  • Facilitate students being able to make connections between historical figures and groups by utilizing social media.

Task Analysis


  • Participants should be familiar with the Social Studies Standards and Common Core Standards
  • Participants should be able to operate a computer
  • Participants should be familiar with operating social media pages(Facebook and Twitter) with basic understanding


  • Participants will be able to distinguish between a proper social media post and an improper post.
  • Participants will be able to educate students on the proper use of social media.
  • Participants will be able to navigate social media sites to find relevant educational information.
  • Participants will be able to create social media websites for educational purposes.

Curriculum Map

File:Curriculum MapDshibley.pdf

References and Resources

AcademicArtistTV. 2011, June 22. Twitter in the Classroom on CNN. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32ptr5d2rw8.

AcademicArtistTV. 2011, September 29. CNN Report, Twitter in the Classroom: Interview with Enrique. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcxe9AZEcS0.

Bidwell, A. (2014, January 17). Check Out That Selfie: How to Use Social Media in the Classroom. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/17/check-out-that-selfie-how-to-use-social-media-in-the-classroom

David, V. (2015, February 19). A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/guidebook-social-media-in-classroom-vicki-davis

Grosseck, G., Bran, R., & Tiru, L. (2011). Dear teacher, what should I write on my wall? A case study on academic uses of Facebook. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 1425-1430.

Leicht, G., & Goble, D. (2014, October 1). Should teachers be using social media in the classroom? Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/social-media-valuable-tool-teachers/

Messner, K. (2009). Making a case for Twitter in the classroom. School Library Journal.

Thielman, S. (2015, November 4). Facebook now averages over one billion users a day. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/04/facebook-one-billion-users