Social Media Apps for Teachers
Social media is taking over the world in a good way. This post is all about educating teachers and parents about the benefits of nine social media apps that they must test for themselves. Each app has been carefully selected from ones I use daily, to ones that may not be so well recognised. This list was hard to put together, as there are so many social media apps on the market these days. The nine apps in this list are all great resources and are well and truly worth a try. Good luck and let social media take you to amazing places you never thought were possible with your teaching and learning.
Twitter is more than just a social media site. It is an excellent way for teachers to keep parents and students updated on what is going on in class as well as what is coming up. You can tweet out assignment due dates, test dates, plan field trips, post syllabus changes, and more. It is also a great way to send out supplemental information to parents and students including links to articles and news stories. It is a simple way of allowing students to ask questions during a lecture and take and share notes with classmates. It can be even be used to engage in conversation with classes all over the globe. It is a free app that is simple to use and navigate.
Pinterest is a free app that is absolutely essential for all teachers. You can get fabulous ideas on how to decorate your classroom, bulletin boards, and more. It is a great place to get ideas for class projects to be completed at home as well as crafts for your class to do. It allows you to collaborate with other teachers and share lesson plans, find out about new educational products, and gather information about new teaching methods. It is quite possibly one of the most fun sites that proves to be useful as well.
Remind 101 is a free app that allows you to text message groups of students and parents without ever having to exchange phone numbers. In fact, the app makes it impossible for anyone to find out another person’s number. It is user friendly and requires that students and parents opt in to receive messages from you. It is perfect for middle and high school teachers to remind students to study prior to a big test or remind them of an upcoming assignment. It is ideal for elementary school teachers to keep parents up to date forms that need to be completed, field trips, and more. It holds up to 10 classes, allows you to schedule texts to be sent out at a later time, and displays when and to whom messages were sent.
Edmodo is a free app that offers numerous features. It is a great way to keep students engaged by conducting discussions online, polling your students to make sure they understand a particular topic, and award students based on their behaviour or performance. It also allows you to post reminders, quizzes and assignment files. It enables students to send you completed assignments. You can even create an event calendar for your students or their parents to see. You can connect with other teachers to discuss ideas, teaching plans, and more. Finally, it allows you to send alerts to parents for missed assignments, upcoming events, and anything else you need to make them aware of. There is very little it can’t do!
Skype is the perfect opportunity to make learning more exciting and engaging. Virtual field trips can be arranged to allow your students to learn about other cultures. It also features lessons on hundreds on subjects, allows your students the opportunity to chat with experts in certain fields, and can put you in contact with teachers from all over the world to trade ideas. Many teachers opt to allow their students to Skype with classrooms all over the world to gain real insight into another culture. It also provides the opportunity to conduct parent/ teacher conferences with parents, who cannot be in the classroom, provide tutoring to students at home, and more. It is the perfect interactive tool for teachers.
Flipboard is a free app that proves beneficial to teachers who want their classes to remain up to date on current events. It contains magazines, blogs, and newspapers that provide current information. It also allows the user to create their own classroom magazine or have students complete one as a project. Classroom magazines are a convenient way to keep parents informed of pertinent information. Students can also tweet their work to Flipboard to use in a magazine. You can also create resource guides to share with others. It is worth noting that magazines and student’s work cannot be permanently archived.
Schoolology is a free app that has won a CODiE Award for software excellence. This app provides the opportunity to do everything from create custom web pages and assignments using a simple, user friendly process to keeping track of student’s grades to uploading and storing various files. It allows you to combine your school, personal, district, and class calendars into one that is colour coded and easy to read. It gives you the ability to send out messages to all students or just a select group. It also is formatted for classroom discussions. It also allows students to submit assignments and send messages, but it filters them to ensure they stay on topic. Lastly, students tend to like it and find it easy to use because it is formatted like Facebook.
Instagram is a free app that is a popular social media platform for children that can be used in the classroom in several ways. It is important to make certain that you account is set to private to make certain only those you have chosen can access your account. This is the perfect way to share field trip photos with parents without having to send them out individually to anyone who asks. You can post pictures for parents to see of student artwork, your class engaged in an activity, document student progress, and more. Essentially, it is a great way to document for parents what and how their children are doing throughout the day.
EduBlogs is a free app that allows you to set up blogs for your classes. It will give you the ability to cut down on a lot of the paper that you send home with classroom notes and reminders that may never be seen by a parent. It is set up to facilitate classroom discussions through live chats or in forums. It is also a fantastic way to get your students writing and have your class set up an online publication of their own for parents to view. It easily embeds videos, slideshows, and other multimedia presentations into your blogs. Finally, it will allow you to create an entire website if you so choose.
BuzzMob is a free app that is a convenient way to keep parents informed of what is currently taking place in your classes as well as what is coming up. You can post updates quickly and simply from your mobile device instead of having to sit down at a computer and update a website. It also enables parents to send you private messages back and you have several options of how to respond. Finally, it allows you to keep a schedule for easy access to early dismissal days, field trips, and more.