The incorporation of technology in the classroom has greatly changed how the modern classroom operates. New technologies allow students new experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Web-based social networking sites are no different.
Here is a list of sites and benefits different sites offer the modern classroom:
- easy way to share class ideas outside of class (post important ideas in group discussion section)
- allows for direct communication with the teacher outside of class
- create a class identity even outside of class by promoting interaction between students and teacher outside of class
- guide class discussion by projecting live feed in front of class with questions posted by students in real time and real time discussion
- develope in-class community by providing a place for positive, academic class chatter
- students or teacher post questions to class inside or outside of class for quick response by either students or the teacher
- class blog for each student where they write responses to each class or reading and present their thoughts on the subject in a more free writing location
- allows for guest speakers to present without being present in class
Some educational researches are already citing the possible benefits of these technologies. In a Social Media Workshop this August (2010), Sarah Eaton showed the possible use of Skype as a way to conference and connect with international students as well as for presentations and workshops in foriegn language classrooms. She also said that because of the accesibility of Skype it could work as, "an excellent stepping stone for those who are no entirely 'fluent' with more sophisticated technologies" (Eaton, 1). Kate Messner published a piece in the School Library Journal this past December (2009) showing how Twitter can be effectively used in an English classroom, connecting students with the authors and editors to discuss the process of writing, "And just like that, my classroom has grown. No longer just 15 kids and a teacher. It's all of us, plus a children's author in Virginia, a book editor at her desk in SoHo, and another half dozen children's writers from around the country, all talking about writing and revision" (Messner, 1). While Messner states the difficulties of incorporating new technologies, such as Twitter, because of school bans on social netwroking sites, if used properly by the teacher, they could make the classroom more inviting to students. The link below is a YouTube video interview showing how Facebook can be integrated into class assignments.