Social Media for World Language Classes
Summer is the best time, and the only time I can find to sit down and figure out tech stuff. I took an hour yesterday and created Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts exclusively for my Spanish II classes.
How To Set Up Social Media for Classes
It is imperative that Social Media is used responsibly and absolutely according to your school or school district’s guidelines and regulations. Check those first. Be constantly aware that anything on social media linked to your school email is monitored by your school or school district.
Make sure that your students and student-families are well versed in acceptable use policies endorsed by your school, district, and by you. Before you do a Big Reveal of your social media teach and review acceptable use guidelines overtly and carefully. Ensure that parents and families know about social media use for your class and its acceptable uses.
1. I used my school email account to set up Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I have a couple of personal accounts that I purposefully did not link.
2. I created a recognizable user name for my students and school community: sracatorce. So follow me @sracatorce on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
3. I linked the accounts to my class website spanishtwo.com. Check it out.
How and Why I will Use Social Media for my Classes
Virtually everyone 40 and under communicates through social media. As language teachers our goal is for students to communicate authentically in the target language and Social Media is a part of that for the appropriate age groups.
1. Twitter. The now almost Old School Mom and Pop social media app. I use Twitter to link and tweet target language articles from news sources, popular culture sources, & arts institutions. I even tweet some Ed Tech articles on how to’s for interested students. Students can reply to my tweet about an article after they have read it, or they can tweet TL articles, videos, or images they find on assigned content themes. I also Tweet helpful hints for assessments and projects.
2. Instagram. I post my own photos of TL sites, places, and people or some that I find on line. Students can reply to the insta or do a variety of speaking or writing tasks in response to the image or video I post on instagram. Students can also post images or videos to an assigned topic or theme and write TL hashtags.
3. Pinterest. I’m a lover of anything visual, but it has taken me until NOW to figure out to truly use this for my classes. Some students come alive when they see a visual representation of so much text-based information. I’m creating a board for each thematic unit that has photos and images of its content. I’m also going to PDF and then JPEG useful handouts; in my case I can link these to my class site spanishtwo.com. You can also create an empty board on a content or grammar theme and ask students to pin relevant images to it.
Students have the best ideas since they are Social Media experts! I can’t wait to enlist their help this year too. Come back for how I’ll use Social Media.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.