- Social media tools students are already using can enhance writing and communication lessons in the classroom, according to Edutopia.
- Micro-writing via platforms like Instagram and Twitter are highlighted, with Instagram providing a space for students to explain the meaning or significance behind a photo or concept, or the ability to create an entire profile centered around a specific project.
- Edutopia also cites a Pew Research Center survey in which half of educators reported students were more engaged and motivated to write when using digital tools, as well as a University of Phoenix survey that saw 40% of teachers suggest students are already sharing their work online via a variety of digital platforms.
Recent years have seen social media highlighted as an important tool for schools and districts on the community outreach front. But when it comes to these platforms' impact on the classroom, many onlookers may have assumed that the impact, specifically in writing, likely amounted to things like students using "textspeak" instead of proper grammar.
But social media can, in fact, engage students in their writing by tying learning to a format they're comfortable and familiar with. Like so many other things, of course, effectively using it relies on providing teachers with adequate professional learning opportunities. But the possibilities for innovative lessons, especially in an environment where project-based learning is increasingly prominent, are significant. In ne such project cited by Edutopia, a student used Instagram to curate the stories and experiences of refugees and immigrants, with the core concept focused around their representation in the media. On top of learning how to organize a larger narrative around those stories in such a project, the student would also exercise and grow valuable skills around creative and critical thinking — both of which are increasingly in demand by many of the nation's top employers.