Utilizing Social Media in the Social Studies Classroom

David Shibley's Portfolio Page


Course Overview

Ever think that your students are more interested in their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram than their course work? Well what if we could teach them different ways to use these resources in an educational way? This course is designed to help teachers develop ways to use social media in the classroom to help engage students. We will examine the amount of knowledge that students have access to with social media, the digital literacy skills they need to be productive online, and projects that can utilize social media in the classroom.

This will be an asynchronous course designed for teachers to do at their own place. Evaluation will be done through self reflection and discussion topics for people to share their ideas. The discussion topics will act as a database for other teachers to use and expand their own ideas. I encourage everybody to share their best ideas so that we can utilize social media to the best.

Needs Assessment

Most students in high school have never had a true education in the proper uses of social media. Websites like Facebook and Twitter can provide students with a ton of information, yet they primarily use them for non educational purposes. Students are not properly verse in internet etiquette and a lot of the growing pains they go through are amplified through social media. This can often present itself in the form of cyber bullying. Most school districts do not even address this issue and instead teach simple computer computer skills, like typing and how to use Power Point. Students should be taught that there is a level of responsibility to using social media, and that they can access a ton of educational information from it.

Performance Objectives and Prerequisites

Objectives

  • 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.

Prerequisites

  • Participants should be familiar with the Social Studies Standard 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

Course Units and Objectives

Unit 1: The World of Social Media: General Uses and Internet Etiquette

Students should be able to have an understanding of the educational benefits of social media. The problem is, that many students have never been trained in how to properly behave. As a result, social media is often viewed as a time waste, or even worse, a place for abuse. This unit aims to help teachers share the notion that students should be aware of what they and other type on social media. This way, we can begin to put social media in a proper educational context.

Objectives:

  • 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.

Unit 2: Twitter in the Social Studies Classroom

Twitter is one of the fastest moving social media websites on the Internet. Fads and breaking news articles begin to trend almost instantaneously through the hashtags. How can we teach our students to use this resource to do research and express themselves in an educationally appropriate manner?

Objectives:

  • Participants will brainstorm verified and educational Twitter accounts that could be useful for a Social Studies classroom using a shared Google Doc.
  • Participants will develop a lesson plan demonstrating a way they plan to use Twitter to enhance the education of their students.
  • Participants will provide feedback for lesson plans shared through the discussion tab on wiki.

Unit 3: Facebook in the Social Studies Classroom

Facebook is the largest social media website in the world. It used to act primarily as a college level social network but has since expanded to the general population. With its many features, it has become one of the more creative social platforms on the Internet. In this unit we examine that creative ability.

Objectives:

  • Participants will provide the most useful aspects for students and teachers after reading the accompanying article in their journal
  • Participants will create a Facebook page for a historical figure, group or nation that demonstrates historically accurate information.
  • Participants will create an event or group that links two or more Facebook profiles together to demonstrate a significant event in history.