Social Media & Collaborative Learning Tools

Social media and collaborative learning are the forefront of the 21st century learning atmosphere. With the advanced technology that students, teachers and partners have at their fingertips and how busy society has become, there is no wonder why different avenues for learning have grown enormously. Social media and collaborative learning have made the learning environment fun, interactive and mobile. Below are three different tools that are being used as either a social media learning tool, a collaborative learning tool or both.

YouTube

YouTube has come a very long way from personal videos that people uploaded to get noticed, YouTube can now be used as a learning platform and an informative instructional tool. YouTube was started in 2005 and it allows people across the world to view, learn, watch and share videos (youtube, 2016). It now has many different capabilities that users can access. Users can watch, create, share, upload, subscribe or follow all different kinds of videos and channels.

This social media Web2.0 tool can be used in many different ways in education. One way that YouTube is used is to help create discussions about topics by using videos from news reports, broadcasts and documentaries. Educators are able to find a video that corresponds with a lecture to increase engagement among the students and increase participation. Even in a digital learning atmosphere, teachers can still create positive collaboration by requiring students to view a certain YouTube video. Here are some additional links that will help explain more about YouTube and how it is used in education. Duffy, P. (2008). Engaging the YouTube Google-eyed generation: Strategies for using Web 2.0 in teaching and learning. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(2), 119-130. and Research Gate

YouTube is an informal learning strategy that teachers and students use to help increase their understanding of topics or lessons. This tool helps reinforce the content because every student has a different learning style. By incorporating this tool into traditional or digital learning methods, students and teachers are receiving a higher value of education through different learning channels.

It is very simple to create an upload an educational video to YouTube, first the user will need an account and record a video from either a phone or camcorder. The user can then edit the video, after editing the video it is ready to be uploaded to their YouTube account. After this has happened, the user will need to name the video and share to the public. If the user is trying to find a video that would be a good addition to the lesson, once on YouTube’s home page there is a search bar that they user can search for any content (Widder, 2013).

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a global classroom that reaches millions of students across the world. It is a unique learning environment that uses videos to teach at the students pace each and every day in many different languages to ensure that they reach all students. Khan Academy is a personalized online learning resource for all ages of students. There is content for math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more to help strengthen the students learning and learning gaps that students may have (Khanacademy, 2016).

Khan Academy is an effective online educational tool for many different level of students, teachers and parents. This learning tool is also a collaborative social media tool that allows for online interaction to enhance the learning material. There are many forms of learning instruction that Khan Academy uses to ensure that they have reached all styles of learning. There are videos that Salman Khan has created himself to teach the content for that student for that day. There are also interactive quizzes that Kahn has created to drive home the lesson the student was supposed to learn. Khan has created tools for teachers to track and chart the progress of their students (Noer, 2012).

Khan Academy is a mixture of a formal and informal learning environment. This tool is mostly used at home during an off period where a student is not attending school, ie summer vacation. It is then used to help sustain and build on the student’s education when there is no formal educational setting. Khan Academy is also used by teachers during the school year to help ensure that learning is taking place at a higher level of thinking. To incorporate this tool as an additional free educational system for students during their time off, it will create a higher level of enthusiasm for the students when they continue with their normal educational program. Here are a couple of links that will help drive home the importance of continued and streamline education. Wired.com and Prisim.com

If you are a teacher, coach or parent here is how you would get started using Khan Academy at home or in your classroom. Step one is create an account, if you are a teacher or coach you can then access Khan Academy’s coaching tools and start creating accounts for your students, then you can select your student’s names. After this step it breaks into two different groups of teacher or parents, but for both groups you have to input the education level for the student to start their correct level of study (KhanAcademy, 2016).

Edmodo

Edmodo is a new educational online tool for students and teachers. It was founded and created in 2008, buy two educators. Since then it has taken ideas from social media and refined them to make this site just as easy to use as Facebook, but a safer environment. Since the site is monitored by teachers all day long, there is zero inappropriate content or bullying. Students and teachers are able to post questions, ideas, problems they are having and helpful tips on Edmodo. Teachers are also able to add assignments and grade those assignments on Edmodo (Cauley, n.d.).

Social media is being used by all age groups for many different purposes. By creating social media sites for education, students have started looking at education in a diverse way and some students are enjoying school once again. Edmodo is an addition to the educational world to help teachers and students in the classroom move to a technological base of learning. Having an educational social networking site is becoming an essential skill to have in our contemporary technology-absorbed world (Muilenburg, 2011). Muilenburg (2011), conducted a study that puts Edmodo into a classroom where the teacher has many different discussions going on at once and too many students to juggle all at one time. The results were impressive, many students were excited and engaged in discussing educational topics with their teacher and peers. Many of the students commented on the ease of use of Edmodo, since its features and abilities are similar to Facebook’s.

Edmodo uses informal educational settings and delivery methods, however the content that is posted from the teachers is in a formal setting (Muilenburg, 2011). To incorporate Edmodo into the 21st century learning methods, teachers and students use an informal setting of education delivery that links students to all of their online resources, assignments and quizzes that the students need for a class. Edmodo has even used blogs, wikis and more Web2.0 tools to assist them in their learning journey (Light and Polin, 2010). Here are some additional website links that will help grow Edmodo social media education tool: Edmodo.com and  elscdn.com

Edmodo is a free educational social media site, to get started using this site as a teacher they must first create an account, title their group and select the grade and subject for their class. This site is set up like Facebook, so after the creation of the account the teacher can start posting assignments and classroom activities. A student will need to also create an account to have access to the teacher’s page. The student will need to ensure that they have their teacher’s group code to enroll in the right page. After this the student can post notes, alerts and polls on the homepage of the site. The students are also able to view and work on assignments and quizzes for the class from the links on the homepage (Cauley, n.d.).

 

References

Light, D., and Polin, D. (2010). Integrating Web2.0 Tools Into the Classroom. EDC Center for     Children and Technology. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED543171.pdf

KhanAcademy. (2016). KhanAcademy. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/about

Muilenburg, L. (2011). Supprting Student Collaboration: Edmodo in the Classroom. Retrieved     from http://mat2011holland.pbworks.com/f/SITE2011EdmodoPaper       %5B1%5D+Holland+Muilenburg.pdf

Noer, M. (2012). One Man, One Computer, 10 Million Students: How Khan Academy Is

Reinventing Education. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.prisim.com/wp-            content/uploads/2013/12/One-Man-One-Computer-10-Million-Students-How-Khan-         Academy-Is-Reinventing-Education-Forbes.pdf

Cauley, P. (n.d.). A Guide To Explain It All. Retrieved from http://www.csub.edu/~tfernandez_              ulloa/Edmodo%20User%20guide.pdf

YouTube. (2016). About YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/

Widder, B. (2013). From Start to Finish, DT’s Definitive Guide to Creating and Uploading          YouTube Videos. Digital Trends. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com         /computing/how-to-make-a-youtube-video/2/

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