Can social networking be used effectively to enhance teaching and learning?

When addressing the topic of social media and social networking being used in the classroom, it’s easy to understand why as a teacher your initial gut reaction would be to worry about the safety of your children and what they’re exposed to while using social networking sites. But when we say social networking we’re not suggesting everyone introduce Facebook across all lessons, what we’re suggesting is a series of advantages that different forms of social networking can bring to your school.

96% of students with internet access are reportedly using social networking technologies, so it’s hardly surprising that social networking is finding itself wriggling its way into our schools. In 2013, 35% of schools had students/instructor-run blogs and 27% of schools had an online community for teachers and administrators[i]. At a basic level, social networking is helping to raise confidence levels and get students communicating with each other. With the correct security features in place (see our MDM solutions), social networking in schools can help to enhance interactivity, extend learning and provide students with an alternative way to express themselves.

Social media use in the classroom

Facebook: Sharing homework and classroom updates.

Classroom Facebook pages can be managed by teachers and viewed by students and parents, so can be used to post homework assignments – so both students and parents are aware of exactly what needs doing and when (kids can’t play the ‘I don’t have any homework’ card with this!). Using Facebook to share school updates and class news increases parental involvement and pupil parent engagement.

Twitter: Posting homework reminders, exam dates, school trips and general updates on a class Twitter page.

Class Twitter accounts can be managed by teachers with tweets received by parents and students. They can be particularly useful for posting reminders, like exam dates, non-uniform days, school trips and homework deadlines to name a few. They can also be used for students to post work-related questions on to be answered by other members of the class or by teachers.

Blogger: Showcasing students creativity and work in online classroom blogs

Classroom blogs like those you can create with Blogger, can be moderated by teachers and written by students to be read by teachers students and parents. Blogger is a great way for students to be creative and share their ideas. Blogs can be made private and posts restricted, requiring approval before being posted, giving teachers control over the content being posted, but also giving students a sense of freedom and pride at having work published online.

YouTube: Uploading and sharing student made videos and content.

Class YouTube channels can be moderated by teachers, made by students and watched by teachers, parent and students. As the third most visited site, a classroom YouTube channel allows students to share their work with far more people than a class of 30. YouTube can be used to host videos made by students, which can be viewed at home to help with homework and revision.

My Big Campus
: Share work and resources online in a safe and monitored environment.

My Big Campus is a learning management system and social network with a buzzing educational community, available for teachers, students, parents, IT admin and school admin to use. Use My Big Campus in a similar way to Facebook and set up groups so students can share work and resources in a pupil-friendly environment, providing them with an educational resource library, calendars, paperless assignment hub and safety 24/7. My Big Campus is monitored and managed by Lightspeed Systems so you know that your students are safe and on-task as they learn.

Benefits from using social networking in schools

Student benefits

Giving students access to social networking in schools provides them with an increased opportunity for academic and education-based networking. It gives them the opportunity to speak up and raise issues that they might not normally feel confident doing face to face, giving them the chance to influence and improve school activities. Exposing students to social networking in an education-based environment can also instil and teach them responsibility and safety online as well as the importance of good reputation and good citizenship. Students can develop their online writing skills and develop a positive attitude towards technology and the opportunity to share ideas with other students and learn collaboratively.

Parental benefits

Allowing schools to use social networking gives parents increased communication with teachers, as well as providing them with the opportunity to become more involved in the classroom and curriculum. Being able to see messages direct from teachers and members of staff allows parents to gain a greater understanding of class and teacher expectations.

Staff benefits

Social networking doesn’t always have to revolve around students – staff can use social networking separately to create an online community in which they can share ideas with other educators and bounce ideas off each other. Social networking provides staff with a paperless way to exchange ideas, information and best practices and encourages professional engagement, training and continuing education.

Want to know more about our education services and solutions and how we can help keep your school devices safe and secure with MDM? Email or call 03332 409 333 or visit or click here to read about keeping your students safe online.


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