Have you ever considered social media sites as learning tools? Is social media a part of your homeschool lesson plans?
You probably haven’t considered this because we are the first generation of digital immigrants raising digital natives. So it isn’t very natural for us to consider the multiple uses of online tools. But, it is second nature to our kids. And they learn differently than we did when we were their age. [Related Post: What Homeschoolers Don't Know (& what they need)]
I am one of those who believes that social media isn't all that bad…if it is used properly. Consider this….most people focus on the “social” aspect of social media. It’s a way to connect and interact with others, and there is much debate on whether it leads to healthy and “real” social interaction.
But have you given much thought about the “media” part of it?
“Media” means “the means of mass communication”. Traditionally, the media classification was reserved for newspapers, magazine, radio and television. A larger organization was sharing information with the masses. With social media, all of us can be “the media” and communicate with the masses. We all can have a “voice” and share what is important to us. And that is what excites me most about using social media as a learning tool.
Some important aspects of learning are….
- Sharing what you learn
- Explaining your learning process
- Creating something for a “real” audience
- Processing knowledge to answer questions from others.
And all this happens innately with social media. It just makes plain sense that homeschooler should be using social media as a learning tool.
6 Reasons Homeschoolers Need to Social Share More
To develop life-long social media habits under your guidance. As you teach your kids to use social media when they are young, you can guide them towards responsible and safe engagement. They will grow up recognizing social media as a tool for sharing what matters to them and develop healthy tech habits. [Related Post: What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Social Media?]
To demonstrate their knowledge. Social media gives learners an audience. As they post pictures and video of projects and share comments to explain their learning process, homeschoolers deepen their understanding of information.
To positively represent home learning. Aunt Sally will no longer wonder if homeschoolers actually learn anything. She’ll be uber-impressed when you post a video of Jimmy’s model of Mount Vesuvius.
To inspire others. You know those friends who feel they should homeschool, but don’t think they can do it? As your kids share, those friends may realize that homeschooling is actually do-able.
To build community. As homeschoolers share, they will find others with similar interests. My writer/artist daughter has grown in her interest through the influence of her “peeps” she found on Pinterest. [Related Post: What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter's Pinterest]
To build a record of learning. How cool is it that our kids can open up a Pinterest board and see evidence of their growth? (Plus a digital record eliminates “stuff” in our homes).
How to Get your Kids Sharing on Social Media
Determine the best social media sites for your family. Most sites do not allow accounts for children under 13. Be sure you understand the rules for each site. A good place to research is Common Sense Media.
Communicate your family’s Internet safety standards. Research the privacy settings for each site your children are using.
If your child is over 13, help them set up their account. Be their first “follower” and establish standards for follow requests, sharing and social media habits. If your child is too young for their own account, teach them how to use yours. If they have their own mobile device, help them add the app.
Assign social sharing as part of your homeschoolers projects. When your kiddos create something, instruct them to take a picture and upload it with a description of their learning process.
So, my friend…..How do you use social media as a learning tool? Where do your kids social share? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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