The Oak Leaf
Other forms of social media become popular among Collegiate teachersTuesday, December 13, 2011 By Alyssa Barnett
To Facebook and beyond! From microblogging at sites like Tumblr to microposting on Twitter, Facebook isn’t the only social media site people are becoming addicted to these days. In school, teachers are now using online tools for alternative teaching. The new jump in technology is eliminating the conventional use of textbooks and integrating more use of online and interactive programs such as "flip" or "reverse" teaching. "Teachers are interested," Mrs. Loope said. Twenty-first century learning has progressed from just the traditional method of teaching and is now geared towards keeping the students engaged in the classroom. "Being engaged during classroom time is always positive," Mrs. Loope said. She thinks that alternative teaching makes classroom time with the teacher more worthwhile. Students are going home and learning the lessons outside of class by watching videos on YouTube, for example, and applying them with the teacher during the school day. Art history teacher Mrs. LeMay uses multiple applications in her class to help promote learning. She uses CourseSmart as a textbook and EduBlog.com for posting assignments and discussions about their current topics. "The blogs help [the students] think more about the subject matter and [the blogs] go beyond the textbook," she said. This is Mrs. LeMay’s first year using alternative teaching and incorporating new technology. She uses the BrightLink in Room 24 everyday in class and puts homework, discussions and quizzes online. Our new Wi-Fi network around the building has helped her incorporate these technologies, and ideally she would like all students to have their own devices and use them in class. Mrs. LeMay’s art history course isn’t the only class using innovative online applications. Ms. Parker’s college algebra class employs "flip" teaching. At night the students go home and watch the next day’s lesson on YouTube, then work problems in class. (see "NCS teachers use new technology to enhance students' studies" by Jewell Porter) "I feel I do way more teaching with flip teaching," she said. In addition to using YouTube, Ms. Parker also has a blog for her students. "[Flip teaching] helps me reach kids that I wasn’t able to [reach] before," Ms. Parker said. Teachers are using various blogging and media sites for educational purposes. So what about the students? What social media besides Facebook are they using? Take our Oak Leaf poll to vote for your favorite sites.