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Instructor Synthesis
36 Posts
November 15, 2021 - 6:00 pm

This week’s guided reading question asked you to present “a realistic recommendation [for or against] adding social media to your chosen learning environment and discuss the role of the instructor in implementing this vision.” You chose different student populations: K-12 children (elementary school and high school) and adult professional learners (teachers).

Betul considered the need to teach WITH and ABOUT social media in elementary school. Teaching with social media could foster active learning, students’ collaboration, and increase their community connections (e.g., help develop civic awareness and engage with other students and adults from their communities and different parts of the world). Challenges to this vision include the need to teach online safety. To enact this vision, teachers will need to play various roles: “teacher as learner, teacher in constructivist roles, teacher as change agent” (Bartow, 2014, p. 47).

Jeong considered the incorporation of social media for teachers’ professional development, providing the opportunity to form sustained teacher’ social networks for emotional support. Like Betul she argued that such personalized learning networks (PLNs) can assist teachers in identifying and developing these roles (e.g., teacher as learner, teacher as caring, teacher as change agent etc.) (Bartow, 2014). Like Jeong, Abdu recommended teachers use social media with the purpose of finding, assessing (Trust, 2016) and sharing (Hanraets Et al., 2011) materials, which are important in the own learning process.

Suha recommended using social media to teach critical thinking. Specifically, she envisioned Facebook “as the platform where 10th graders can observe different sides to an argument, and use their critical thinking abilities to form their own opinion… This will make the learning content more accessible, relevant and relatable to the students.” Teachers will themselves need to invest in learning about and being comfortable with the platform to assist students in understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks. This week’s posts raised a number of questions such as:

How does this week’s topic/readings connect with your own research or teaching interests?
What do you see as the biggest threats to facilitating learning with [chosen media] in education?
Do you see any connections between what you read and discussed this week and weeks 1-9 in this course?

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