What do we actually mean by social media? It suggests, I suppose, a certain level of participation - but then aren’t all media social? I realised this week that it’s another ill-defined term, used interchangeably with Web 2.0. At least that’s the way I’ve used it in a chapter called 'Social Media in the Primary Classroom' for Cary Bazalgette’s forthcoming book 'Teaching Media in the Primary School'. I argue that there is plenty of evidence of educators experimenting with sites like Cooliris, Voicethread, Bubbleshare and Glogster - and I suggest some issues that teachers may wish to consider when planning to use social media in the classroom. These are framed in terms of six key questions (a list is always good).
1. What kinds of learning are intended?
2. What sort of understandings does the social media site assume?
3. What will need to be taught or explained before children get involved?
4. How easy is it to access the site?
5. How easy is it to register/set up accounts?
6. How can safety issues be addressed?
For more, you’ll have to wait for the book!