Social Media for Teaching and Learning

This session was animated by the folks from Pearson, our department’s math textbook publisher and developer of the MathXL platform. Their presentation is available at As an illustration of the use of modern technology in the classroom, we started off with  that uses text messages to poll.

Cave paintings may be the first application of social media. Web 2.0 provides the tools for the same social media, but over the Internet. Social learning is student as teacher. Social networking is connecting the two above. Web 3.0 will take social networking to the next level by providing a personal assistant , like Siri, who can access all the information on the Internet to answer any question.

How can we use social media for education? Twitter, Facebook, Google + and YouTube allow individuals to report directly about their experiences. Connection changes everything. Some examples are buying online, web md, eharmony, banking, friendships, secrets (post What has connection done for Education? Education’s use of technology was ranked 55, below coal mining. Schools tend to be against connecting learners to the Internet. Devices, apps (wolfram alpha), websites (Wikipedia).

To enhance education’s  Potential for Connection Pearson has created a Research & Innovation Network. They have also created a series of videos that present a vision of the future that integrates technology, neuroscience and educational psychology into everyday life to make anytime, anywhere learning possible.

Pearson considers itself to be one of the world’ss top ten most innovative companies in education. To gain a better understand of faculty’s use of technology, Pearson partnered with the Bapson Survey Research Group to survey the use of social media in higher education. Faculty use of social media increased 10%. Facebook is number one followed by blogs wikis, linkedin, podcasts, andtwitter. Students leaving, but faculty joking. Survey results are available at

The animators also suggest using social bookmarking tools that allow you to share websites of value. Delicious and are the popular. Zite allows you to aggregate info from the Internet based on topics. Pocket allows you to keep articles you found of interest. They also recommend using podcasts once a week to remind students do what is ahead.

The problem is determining which of the myriad of social media tools to use in your classroom. They suggest using four or five of the tools of the many available. Begin the process of determine which tools to use. For me it is my faculty website (blog), Google Plus and YouTube.