As someone who enjoys tech and fears being “the old teacher,” I try to stay up on what the students are using. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat were all around while I was in either high school or university, so they were easy to get on and use. As Discord rolled out, I grew up a gamer, and it was an easy transition to being to use that. TikTok was the social media platform I was reluctant to use, but when a student told me, “it is Vine on steroids,” I was in!
In a recent blog post, I talked about how my feelings towards social media like Facebook and Instagram have changed. As someone who works in a school, I feel as if I am always in the public eye. When I leave work, I want to be more private, and for that reason, I have faded out of posting on social media.
Social media can be a distraction in classrooms; I would like to talk about how TikTok could be a tool in a school. An instant challenge that is brought up frequently is the privacy of students in a school setting. Another obstacle is kids having the accounts, or getting them to sign up would be a no. I think the easy way around this is that most things are on YouTube. TikTok and Fortnite have encouraged students to dance and learn some fairly good moves! When looking at the Saskatchewan Curriculum, you can see that “dance” is a strand. Using YouTube to watch TikTok trends and having the students recreate them. This approach can help to make those outcomes enjoyable for students. Dance is a strand in the curriculum that middle years teachers have struggled to get engagement in. When this was attempted at our school, the students were not thinking of it as dance. They were just having fun.
I’m curious if there are any ways you are utilizing social media in your school to engage more students in trickier outcomes?