Using social media in teaching

With the imposition of global lockdown, it has become mandatory for educational institutions to shift to the online mode of teaching. But not all schools and universities have been successful in making this transition because of the suddenness with which the outbreak of the deadly pandemic took place. As a result, many teachers like you, are in a fix as to how to keep their students’ learning intact amidst lockdown.

This article is an endeavor to introduce you with ways in which you can redirect your social media accounts into using them as platforms of online learning for your students.

1. WhatsApp as a resource center for your students: WhatsApp messenger is a popular messaging platform which you can convert into an online resource center for your students. For this, you just have to create a WhatsApp group and add all your students in it. Once you have added all your students in the group, you can share all sorts of educational resources with your students in different forms such as videos, images and documents, with all your students in one go. Moreover, you can also use the WhatsApp group as a medium to keep your students updated about valuable information such as exam schedules, coronavirus related updates and others.

2. The Instagram doorway for polishing your students’ creative caliber:  Polishing your students’ creative caliber and imaginative skills is one of the major responsibilities which you shoulder. No doubt, your students love engaging themselves in creative endeavors but they always need a little bit of push from your side. Conducting various competitions such as poem writing, photography challenge and painting contest, is one of the best ways to provide your students with the required push. You can use Instagram as a doorway for conducting these creativity competitions online during the lockdown period. For this, you just have to follow your students and then ask your students to post their entries for the respective competitions on their Instagram account. By doing so, you can keep your students inspired for exploring their creative skills. Along with this, the appreciative comments and likes on the posts will also motivate the students to keep polishing their creative skills.

3. Twitter for tweeting of important guidelines: You can simply use your Twitter handle as a notice board to inform your students about important information such as the exam schedules, corona specific guidelines and much more. To begin with using your Twitter handle as an information circular for your students, you just have to ask them all to follow you. Once this happens, you can easily make your students aware about important guidelines via tweeting.

4. Facebook as a multifaceted teaching tool: Facebook can be used as a multifaceted teaching tool. This is because it offers different types of features which enable you to interact with your students in different ways such as via your fb posts, messenger and live video sessions. Therefore, you can choose from all these options available to impart online education to your students. For example, you may post educational concepts on your timeline and tag your students. By doing so, you can draw your students’ attention towards your post and prompt them to grasp the information which you have shared. Thus, Facebook can help you in keeping your students’ learning intact in many direct as well as indirect ways.

5. Blogging for fueling your students’ motivation to study: How about starting your own blog during the quarantine period? This is going to be a really interesting thing for you, if you have a keen interest in penning your thoughts down and then sharing them with others. As for now, you can start with posting more blogs on topics related to your students’ education, but once the schools spring back to life, you can carry on with writing blogs on other topics which drive your curiosity. But do make sure to share the link of your blog with your students and get it subscribed by them.

6. Google Docs as a sharing space for educational documents: Google Docs is an innovative way to share all sorts of educational documents with your students during the quarantine period. It offers you with a variety of smart features which enable you to edit the documents, embed images and drawings in your content. Along with this, it also provides you with a feature to add various links to different websites in your content. Thus, you can simply embed these links in your documents and redirect your students to visit educational websites and enhance their knowledge of different concepts which are related to their course curriculum. Furthermore, it is quite easy to use this platform. You just have to create a document and share it with your students via their email address.

7. Video Conferencing for conducting virtual classes: The availability of smart video conferencing apps can help you in creating a virtual classroom of your own. No doubt, virtual classrooms cannot suffice the purpose of a real classroom, but still it can serve the need of the hour. There are a number of video conferencing apps available on the internet such as Zoom, ReadyTalk and Go to Meeting. You can download any of them and embark on your journey of conducting virtual classes for your students. No doubt, WhatsApp also offers you with a feature of conducting conference calls but there is a limitation of the number of participants who can join in. Thus, it is best to use one of the video conferencing apps which have been mentioned above.

8. Email as your online storage for collection of assignments: Assignment writing can serve as an aid in helping you keep your students learning intact amidst lockdown. This is because the task of assignment writing stimulates your students to conduct proper research on the topic of the assignment. As a result, your students get to enhance their knowledge of the respective subject. Furthermore, you can use these assignments as part of your students’ internal assessments. For this, it is extremely important for you to save these assignments properly and email is the best way to do so. You can simply forward your email Id to your students and ask them to submit their assignments in the form of email attachments. This way, Email can act as your online storage for collection of student assignments.

9. Google Forms for conducting regular tests: The mere thought of having to appear in a test or examination, prompts your students to engage in sincere learning. Thus, it is vital for you to conduct online tests for your students. Creating a Google Form is one undoubtedly the simplest and the best way to do so. You just have to download the Google Forms app, select the desired template and then put various questions in the Google Form. After completing the procedure of creating the Google Form, you can then forward the link to your students and they can fill in the answers and submit the test.

10. Pinterest as a platform for sharing informative images: Pinterest is an effective social media platform by using which you can share informative images with your students. You just have to log in to your Pinterest account, search for informative images, pin them and share your pins with your students. In order to share the pins, you have to simply open it, click on its right side, select the recipients and click send.

To conclude, the different social media platforms mentioned above, can play a significant role in helping you keep your students’ engaged in online learning during the lockdown period.