Thanks to the endless sea of information online, today’s educators have access to just about everything they need in a pinch. But all of this information comes at a cost: it’s overwhelming to find the right material that is current and comes from credible, trustworthy sources. The last thing you want to do is provide students with false information.
Luckily, you can complement your lesson plans using one, some or all of the below websites. These 24 social media outlets have been researched by informED and approved by Semgeeks! Some you probably already use every day, while others will offer a fresh perspective.
Edmodo is a great place for teachers, students and parents to connect. As a teacher, you can create blended learning classrooms, share valuable resources and join global learning communities. You can also use Edmodo to link to students. The site is available for both desktop and mobile user so you can access your free account wherever you are! (Including those “sick” days!)
2. The Connected Educator
If you enjoy connecting with other educators, you’ll love what The Connected Educator has to offer. Use the website to find other like-minded educators. Collaborate on different topics, share ideas and insight and learn what’s working with other teachers. This saves valuable time and energy – two things that are important for educators!
TedEd provides teachers with a variety of TED Talks. There are dozens of short clips that cover subjects like science, technology, social studies, health, psychology and more. The clips often have animations, making them extra fun for students. Educators can also collaborate on the site thanks to clubs and communities.
TeacherTube is a good alternative to YouTube – at least from an educational standpoint. Because it’s dedicated entirely to teachers, you’ll find plenty of great videos that cover basic and complex topics. Not only can you access education-related videos, but also you can communicate with students in an educational format. The site looks and feels similar to YouTube, so you and your students should be able to use it with ease.
Vimeo is a great place for sharing videos, particularly if you want to share them to Facebook or Twitter. There are a number of purposes for Vimeo, but a popular way to use the site is to teach students about creating and uploading videos. Some teachers create their own Vimeo videos, then upload and store them to use as teaching tools. Check out the lessons and tutorials on Vimeo Video School for more information.
Skype isn’t just for connecting with faraway friends and family. It can also be used to connect with other students! Skype is a great tool for broadening your students’ perspective of the world. Arrange virtual connections with other teachers or students. You will also enjoy the fact that Skype has a portal dedicated to educators.
Academia is the easiest way to share papers with millions of people across the world – for FREE. You’ll find an endless supply of research papers on topics ranging from psychology to sociology to literature. Don’t think that many people would be interested in reading these papers? The site brings in over 5 million visitors! Sign up with your Google or Facebook account and be inspired!
With LabRoots, you can access millions of documents and hundreds of scientific news feeds. As the name implies, this site caters to those in the science, engineering and technical fields. Not only can you access a ton of information but also stay connected to other educators in these fields. These relationships help you stay informed about new topics and trends in these technical fields.
ResearchGate is similar to LabRoots in the sense that it’s designed for scientists who want to collaborate with other like-minded peers. The difference is that the creators are working to give visibility to researchers from around the world. If you have research that you want to make visible, this is the place to be. You can also discover new scientific knowledge from your peers.
RebelMouse has been recognized as one of the best tools for organizing all of the social media networks. It can be used by publishers or larger organizations, or it can be used for individual purposes. If you’re not sure about using the tool, you can sign up for a free demo and test out the ropes.
HootSuite is another type of social networking manager that gives teachers the ability to access various forms of social media from one place. With so much data coming from social media, HootSuite can help you make sense of it all. Because it’s so popular, many new updates have been made to HootSuite to make it most useful. Aside from managing your social networks, you can also use it to listen to students, engage students and collaborate with others.
DailyMotion gives a boost to social media by presenting users with a news feed of the latest videos. For educators, DailyMotion is great for keeping on top of social networking or sharing their own videos. The site is similar to YouTube in that you can follow various channels and stay informed.
Facebook is the place where everyone connects, so you know that you can find your students here. Create a page where students and parents can connect and share information about tests, papers, homework assignments, links to educational websites and more. This is one of the first places where people will look to connect with you, so be sure you are visible and have an active, engaging page.
Another place where parents, students and other teachers will look for you is on Twitter. Twitter can be used as an educational tool by reminding students of important dates and reminders. You can even use Twitter to post inspiring quotes or links to educational articles and studies.
Encourage students to post their resumes on LinkedIn so that they can get practice for future internships and jobs. This gets their feet wet in the professional world, and also helps them build connections early on. These connections will come in handy as your students pursue their career goals later on.
All educators can use YouTube to access educational videos. There are plenty of subcategories to choose from such as science, business and engineering. There is even a dedicated spot just for teachers. It’s best to find trusted channels that you can count on for engaging, informational videos. You can also read the comments sections and look at the ratings to get a better feel for whether or not the video is appropriate for your students.
Pinterest isn’t just for cooking and crafts. Teachers can connect with other teachers and share ideas on the social app. Boards can be organized according to subjects or themes, making it easy to find information on a variety of concepts. Learning what works for other educators saves time, plus you can find inspiration for more ideas.
Google+ allows you to help students better understand the material that was presented in class. Thanks to Google Circles, you can put students in unique Circles and align them with the right study tools. It’s also an excellent tool for students in photography classes, as the site is one of the best for posting and editing photos.
Instagram is beautiful, and that’s just one of the many reasons why teachers and students love it. Create assignments that use Instagram or encourage students to create campaigns for specific organizations. Not all educators will find use for the site, but it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the app and how students engage on it.
WordPress is awesome for teachers because it has tons of themes to choose from, and the platform is easy to navigate. Use WordPress to set up a web of communications and lessons or encourage students to create their own blogs.
Blogger is similar to WordPress, and it helps students and teachers connect to each other using diary-style writing and unique themes. If you want to help students become more comfortable writing online or writing in general, Blogger is a helpful tool.
LabforCulture is for artists to collaborate, connect and share ideas. Artists can start blogs and read the latest information regarding art news, exhibitions and events. What’s even better is that artists can find funding for projects and look for jobs. The site is mostly made up of Europeans at this time – but anyone is welcome! Exposure on any level never hurts for the starving artist!
Another gallery concept, CultureInside is used for online galleries. There’s even a lightbox feature that helps art students promote their artwork in other people’s lightboxes. The site can be difficult to navigate, so students often benefit from the help of an instructor.
Sgrouples, or MeWe, is a networking site that gives users complete control over who belongs in what group. The idea is for people to connect together in small groups. Unlike other networking sites, the site doesn’t share any information, so private information stays private. It’s free to sign up and available in a handful of languages.
We hope that these websites will help you run a well-rounded classroom with the right information that you can trust! Explore them today!
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