Saturday, 7 October 2017

Week 30 - Professional Online Social Networks

How has social media been used in my teaching?
I have used mainly blogs as a form of social media in my teaching. The children have used individual blogs and have shared their work, reflections, photos and anything else of interest. The children commented on each others blogs too. I have also had a class blog for the last few years that is mainly for parents to see photos of things that have been going on at school, links to the children’s blogs and pieces of work that the children have done. I have also started to use seesaw as a form of social media this year too. The children have really enjoyed this as it is based on a more instagram and facebook interface that they are more used to. We have used it for sharing evidence of their learning against the school progressions. I haven’t used twitter before as it is not an interface I am used to but can definitely see its benefit.

In what ways has social media been beneficial to student learning?
It allows the students to be connected across the world, they have access to a wide audience for their work. This also means their learning is transparent for their parents and they can clearly see what is going on at school and see how their child is progressing through the year. It also allows the children to see their own progression of learning in one place too. They are also quite engaged when using social media and enjoy receiving digital feedback especially from family or other classes. As Sharples et al. said social media supports “creativity, collaboration, communication and sharing of resources” (Sharples et al., 2016, p.12) I think this is very true and highlights the benefits for the children’s learning.

What are the challenges that arise when you use social media in your teaching?
Accessibility is a big challenge and we are lucky to have one to one chromebooks which has made blogging and using seesaw a lot more of a smooth process. Sometimes it can be hard with videos and photos with chromebooks and this is where ipads are a lot better. Also the issue of digital citizenship and digital footprint is important. This involves educating the children and making them aware of these issues. Also some children are lacking basic digital skills which can hold them back using the media as effectively. Another big challenge is the children get off task and often don’t use their time wisely and get distracted on social media. Age restrictions on sites like facebook stop use from using a wider range of social media too.

How are you going to address the challenges?
I would like to ask for a few more ipads for the intermediate department or just borrow the other classes ipads if that can’t happen. For digital citizenship and digital skills it is a matter of at the beginning of the year and when needed educating the children on these things. This can also happen through other children as they collaborate when they use social media. With getting off task it is really about the key competencies and really teaching these, also having more limited time for some tasks so there is no time to get off task when it is a really focused task. There are also programs like linewize that we trialled where you can monitor the sites the children use, this wasn’t 100% right for our system so it may be a matter of finding something else that might be better for this too.


Sharples, M., de Roock , R., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., Herodotou, C., Koh, E., Kukulska-Hulme, A., Looi,C-K, McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., Wong, L. H. (2016). Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Retrieved from

Education Council.(2012). Establishing safeguards.[video file]. Retrieved from


  1. Time for a push on digital citizenship for 2018 I think. I agree that coping with getting off task is a key competency learning. Its more obvious on devices. Previously it looked like doodling in the margins, or daydreaming which could be confused with thinking. I don't think online distractions are anything new and like you said we just need to teach what to do about them.

  2. I think the key to purposeful Social Media use is to try and use platforms that are actually engaging. I think that our parents do not engage effectively with our Communication Blogs and this could be because it is not a very social activity, despite being called social media. Maybe little video's or soundtrack recordings would up engagement because after all our and our children's hard work we deserve better responsiveness!!

  3. It was really beneficial to read a senior teacher's reflection on social media in the classroom as it is quite a different experience from a junior perspective. I agree that digital citizenship needs to be focused on as students have not grasped this- a good focus for 2018!