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Friday, December 5, 2014

Working with social media in the classroom

It is an immense honour to have Carolina Marques guest write on Informed Teachers.
Carolina Marques holds a degree in Translation and is currently taking a post graduation in Bilingual Education. She's an EFL teacher and coach at Cultura Inglesa SP.
In this post, she writes about her experience with social media in the EFL classroom.

It is not fair to say I chose to work with social media in the classroom. In fact, that was something that happened almost organically in my case. One may argue it is because of the so-called Generation Y, also known as the Millennials, who have been plugged into technology since they were born. Others may blame it on this high tech world we live in. Either way, the truth is that we cannot simply ignore technology anymore – neither in life, nor in the classroom.  

Creating a page on Facebook for my Saturday groups has been a very positive experience, in the sense that it helps bringing students together as group, even when they are not at school. Not only does it work as a different channel of communication between teacher and students, it also improves student-student communication.

With regard to content, the News feed on our group page is by no means an online version of what happens in the class, in other words, it does not display only class-related content. We share inside jokes, comments, ideas on how to brush up our English, word lists, collocations, grammar tips, photos, interesting articles, etc. On top of that, since the group is open, any member can post or share anything they like.

I am inclined to believe that this sense of community and collaboration combined with intense online interaction has a knock-on effect on the development of group cohesiveness. Therefore, I can say from experience that working with social media in the classroom has a lot to add to both language learning and teaching.

Carolina Marques da Silva

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