|Social Media in the Classroom|
Diigo is an online Social Bookmarking tool that makes sharing information even easier! The site comes with browser add-ons and allows you to annotate and share webpages and documents. It also supports a discussion section and works well for group collaborations.
Diigo in the Classroom
Diigo offers two important aspects: the ability to store, organize, and comment upon web-based material, and a robust discussion section. Diigo can be used for students to create and share their own annotated bibliographies, or course materials. Diigo also works as an instructor-based information hub, where students can look at pre-gathered content and comment.
Pinterest is an image-centric site that allows users to collect (or "pin") images into an organized board. It is a fantastic resource for organizing and collecting static links for images.
Pinterest in the Classroom
Pinterest is great in three ways. It is a fantastic way to search for and store images for future lectures. It also offers community boards anc comment sections. This allows students to compile course-related images, infographics, and other visual aids in one place. Pinterest can also be used to have students find relevant images to accompany lectures (thereby boosting their engagement).
Wikipedia is not necessarily a robust learning tool based upon its content. What makes Wikipedia great for classroom use is in identifying pages that are incorrect or lack relevant citations.
Wikipedia in the Classroom
We suggest hosting a "Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon." Towards the end of each term students should have enough subject knowledge to be able to identify Wikipedia pages that are either missing, incorrect, or unsubstantial. Getting groups to edit Wikipedia pages in their subject not only reflects growing subject mastery, it also improves the quality of online information.
You can find more information here on how to run an edit-a-thon.
Twiddla is a web-based meeting whiteboard. It essentially allows students and teachers to share and annotate on images. It lets you mark up website, document or image. It also lets you insert text. It is a great space for online discussions or supplemental interactive coursework.
Twiddla in the Classroom
Twiddla is a great tool for group work in-class. Instructors can upload an image or document for each group, and with their shared whiteboard students can annotate and build upon the content. Since it is free, it is also a great collaborative study tool, especially for distance-based learning.
YouTube is a video hosting site that provides free hosting, as long as your video is not using any copyrighted content.
YouTube in the Classroom
YouTube isn't just great for inserting clips from instructional videos or movie references. You can publish your instructional videos through YouTube AND limit who can have access to them. If you are working with a software that does not have an easy LMS or MP4 export, you may want to look into publishing through YouTube instead of using an additional software to screen cast. We love the idea of creating short (no more than 10 min) instructional pieces and combining them into a learning playlist.
Browzine allows you to search or browse journals, links to the library holdings, download full articles, AND organize journals within bookshelves for review. It also offers an option to be notified when new articles are published within a tile on your shelf.
Browzine in the Classroom
Browzine creates stable, shareable links to content items. You can share your bookshelves or link to an article you think students should read. More importantly, creating bookshelves will teach students to get into the habit of reviewing current literature in their field.
Twitter shares live text, images and links limited to 140 characters. It offers fast, interactive content that ranges from political events to daily minutia.
Twitter in the Classroom
Twitter is a fantastic tool to get your students to engage with subject matter outside of the classroom. First, you can create a course-related hashtag for students to follow, tag, and contribute material to. Each time a student posts a link to an article or an image related to the class they include the hashtag and eventually the hashtag turns into a class archive. (Make sure your hashtag is unique or you'll find unrelated content). Second, you can create a personal or course twitter account. This requires a little more work, but it will let you follow and re-tweet medical journals and professionals in your field, creating your very own archive of relevant, curated content.
Blogging can be time-consuming but it is also a great way to incorporate accurate, informational content. WordPress tends to be the best recognized free blog hosting site, although Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Virb all all decent options for first-time website or blog developers.
Blogging in the Classroom
There are two ways blogging can work in the classroom. First you can create (and provide content for) a supplemental class blog where you post the content and the students can comment. Second, you can create a blog written BY YOUR STUDENTS. The students pick a date and send you an EDITED blog post to publish. You then post the content and the students are expected to comment upon one another's work. This second use of a blog tend to make students more invested in the exercise because their work is essentially published.
RSS Feeds pull content from a variety of sources to create a customized feed within a RSS reader. RSS feeds provide real-time updates on news topics, medical developments, and other related content publisehd on the web.
RSS Feeds in the Classroom
RSS Feeds are a great supplemental way to keep students on top of the literature. You can give them a list of suggested RSS feeds or you can have them find their own and evaluate them based on the quality of the content. RSS feeds are a convenient way of staying on top of information, and can be incorporated into the grading structure by requiring the student to report upon, or include in his or her bibliography, one item found through the RSS feed.