Summary for #KELTchat July 15: social networks in the classrooms

Uses for social networks.

Several teachers expressed curiosity and questions about using social networks, but do not currently use them in class. @breathyvowel wondered how it would work to use Kakao talk to share sentence ideas or short pieces of writing in class. @AnneHendler saw the benefit of Kakao talk for speaking practice – using recorded voice notes (an idea she got from a KOTESOL presentation by @languagebubble). @vickyloras told of teachers who collaborate with their students on Facebook. She explained that the teacher posts homework on Facebook and students correct each other’s paragraphs, participate in discussions, and gain information through polls.

 Drawbacks of using social networks with students.

Several drawbacks were discussed, including privacy, time spent in front of the computer, how to ensure the students are actually doing the work, how to assess the work – for quality, quantity, or improvement? It was mentioned that students already spend a lot of time in front of the computer and this could be a more productive use of that time. The concern was also raised that students can get off topic and use the forum for non-class-related items.

 Platforms for social networks in class.

Facebook and Twitter were noted for their popularity with students for other purposes – students might be more interested in interacting online with a program they already know how to use.

Edmodo was mentioned: a site similar to Facebook but used specifically for classes. – check out the ‘about’ video.

@ThalesDream introduced us to Schoology – a site similar to Edmodo that is Ecertified for student safety and security. Which can attach or embed video and audio files as well as using a dropbox for file sharing and integration with Google Docs.

 Other benefits.

Participants determined that online discussion can be better for shy students – putting everyone on a level playing field. Some students are more likely to participate online than face-to-face.

Final thoughts.

@ThalesDream:But in my opinion, all of these online options are only supplementary. What happens in the classroom has priority. #KELTchat

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About livinglearning

I live and work in Japan (formerly in South Korea) as an English teacher. I'm blogging here because I want to reflect on and share the things I have learned about teaching and learning over the years. I look forward to your feedback!

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