Facebook appears to be a useful tool to use in the classroom. However, I believe that it could not effectively be utilized directly in an elementary classroom. I would most definitely use this tool in a high school or college class. I believe that the biggest merit for this tool is that it assists in communication and collaboration. However, this tool is also used for social networking by a large amount of people from all around the world. With this considered, I believe that the biggest drawback of this tool is that it may not be considered safe by all parents and teachers. Some classroom applications would be:
- Creating a group for parents in the elementary or middle grades. Teacher could post updates, homework, photos, and parents could like and comment with questions or what not.
- A high school teacher could create a private group for a class to post homework, notes, and updates. Students could post questions and communicate with the teacher more easily.
- A high school class could create a private group for a group project in order to collaborate, teacher can see their work process.
Pinterest is a resourceful tool for teachers to use. I believe that it can be used outside of the classroom to search for ideas to implement in the classroom. Honestly, I would not use this tool actually in the classroom. I believe that other tools like Facebook would be more efficient because more people are likely to have a Facebook in the first place. The biggest merit to this tool is definitely the incredible amount and variety of resources (lessons, classroom organization, management, activities, worksheets, etc.). The biggest drawback to this tool is that it would be difficult to actually use in the classroom. There are ways for students to use it, like searching for books or project ideas but I feel that there are more efficient ways to do this. I would use this tool to:
- Search for fun activities to do in this classroom for: recess, management systems, rewards, lesson plans.
- Collaborate with and follow other teachers in order to find new and effective ideas.
- Post my classwork on a board for parents to access.
- Students could share pins with each other for a group project.
Twitter is fun tool for teachers and students to use. It is an interesting and different way for students, teachers and even parents to stay in touch. I think using this tool in the classroom would excite students in the upper grades. The biggest merit to this tool is that it is easy to access and use. Students simply make an account and follow their peers and teacher. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to monitor and students may have personal accounts. I would not want to use my personal twitter account to interact for educational purposes quite honestly, I think students would make a separate account which would make things confusing. Even younger teachers have personal accounts and they would have to make a second. I do not think I would use this tool, but if I would I would:
- Posting homework and classwork for my students and parents to view.
- Have students @ me if they have a question about homework or a project.
Wikis & Blogs are useful in the classroom. They allow students to write and produce ideas in a different and fun way. Upper grade students would like to use these tools. I believe the biggest merit is that students can customize and publish their own work online. It is fun for students to produce something different. The biggest downfall is that students may be too focused on the appearance. This may become a distraction for students. In the classroom I would use these tools:
- For students to post weekly writing assignments, they would share their addresses with me and I could provide feedback on Monday if the assignment was due Friday. For example, students could reflect on their reading for the week with questions or comments.
- Post assignments for the week for students and parents to check up on.
- Use Wikis for short in-class assignments, possibly a jigsaw activity. Students could post their findings and then share with the group.