Vapid or valuable: social media in the classroom
By: Tiffany Wincek, Account Specialist.
It’s the beginning of another school year, which means it’s time to focus again on the best ways to connect with students. What do you do when students can’t seem to pry their eyes away from their social media accounts? Meet them at their level, of course. Here are a few suggestions for ways to use social media to engage your students in reading.
Get creative and make your own school- or district-wide reading hashtag. This is a great way to connect with anyone in your school community (administrators, staff members, parents, oh my!) who uses Twitter. Using your school’s Twitter account and your custom hashtag, follow and retweet authors and publishers, post funny reading memes or gifs, and highlight titles that are new to your collection.
- Pro Tip: Follow OverDrive Education on Twitter for ideas, inspiration and who to follow.
Instagram is quickly becoming the newest way to connect with students on social media. Create a public account so that you can share your handle with students. One clever way to use Insta is for literary scavenger hunts. If students are reading the same text, have them take pictures of places that remind them of the setting of the story. Math teachers can encourage students to take snapshots of the math they observe every day. Don’t forget to have students tag you!
- Pro Tip: Use the same custom hashtag across all your school’s social media channels for continuity and maximum reach.
Did your school have summer reading assignments or participate in OverDrive’s Summer Read program? Whether your students were reading digital or print titles, use your school’s Facebook page to start a discussion about summer reading. Some schools hold a book discussion every week and students are expected to participate as part of their classwork. Encourage your teachers to model good participation habits, too!
- Pro Tip: Use Facebook’s reactions to gauge how your readers felt about a certain title.
Did you know that you can create a group board on Pinterest? This is an excellent way for teachers and librarians in your school to collaborate by sharing their top picks and linking directly to titles in your digital collection. Students can follow your board with their own Pinterest accounts. Think of this as the digital version of the Staff Picks section in your physical library.
- Pro Tip: You can make a board for student or community recommendations, too.
How are you planning to get creative with social media this school year? We’d love to hear your ideas! Let us know on our social channels and we’ll spread the word.
Not yet following OverDrive Education on social media? Two clicks, then tag us in your posts using any of the above ideas with #elearnsomething and we’ll share it!