EdTech 543: Research Ways Schools Are Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

  • SocialMediaStudiesResearch.jpg
  • Given your grade level and/or content area, identify at 10-15 educational projects that successfully using social networking and social media as teaching and learning strategies. Please make sure that social networking (via sites like Twitter, Facebook, Edmodo, Skype, Blogging with comments) was a central component; where students were asked to interact with others in their class, students in other classes, experts, etc. These need to be actual projects that have been implemented not suggestions nor lists: and they should be applicable to your teaching setting.
  • Curate your located projects via one of the curation tools discussed a few modules ago:  Scoopit, Pinterest, Educlipper, Mentormob (you can use the same web tool or choose a different one).  Write a brief description for each project that describes its connection to your content area interest.
  • If you choose, cross post links to the class Diigo group with appropriate tags – Tweet them out individually using the #EDTechSN hashtag
  • Write a blog post about the key learning/ideas/applications about using social media in your teaching/learning environment you discovered through your research

Case Study 1:   Case Studies on the Use of Online Social Networking Informal Education

This article presents two experiments carried out on the use of a social networking site in education. This study shows the various educational benefits that can be obtained from the use of social networking in Mauritian educational system.  Facebook was the chosen platform.  The teacher in the case study used Facebook to pose questions and hold multiple discussions.  The teacher outlined that some benefits of using social networking sites for educational purposes were that students who are not previously inclined to do homework could be motivated by this new method of learning.  The other case study had similar results.

Although these case studies are not specific to mathematics the results can easily be transferred to any content area.

Case Study 2:   Is Social Media Too Social for Class? A Case Study of Twitter Use

You will need to use access to google scholar to view http://link.springer.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/article/10.1007%2Fs11528-013-0644-2

This study examined how students perceived Twitter as a classroom tool.  “The researchers found students enjoyed being consumers of tweets but seldom retweeted or replied”. The research was not conclusive but implied that with careful planning and scaffolding Twitter may be a valuable resource in education.

Case Study/Project 3:   Teachers’ Mini-Case Studies of Children’s Mathematics

You will need to use access to google scholar to view http://link.springer.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1009994915855

This presents multiple case studies to address the challenges elementary teachers faced in developing multimedia inquiry-based environments that facilitated teachers’ thinking about children’s arithmetical thinking.  The conclusion was that as  open-ended technologies are developed to support teachers’ professional development, there are several important issues that need to be considered. It is important to craft activities that allow teachers to distinguish between and among different children’s thinking.

Case Study/Project 4:   Facebook as an Academic Learning Platform: A Case Study in Mathematics

You will need to use access to google scholar to view http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2016139

This case study explored the issues of using Facebook in a learning framework.  The authors analyzed data on the usage the page (total reach and number of engaged users) and the results of a survey taken by 217 students. They investigated the quantitative performance (i.e., grades) in connection with the level of Facebook activity and usefulness. They found some evidence of positive correlation of grades.  This is relevant to mathematics learning, because university communities are frequently experienced as isolating and performance-oriented.  Incorporating social engagement can improve grades and understanding.

Case Study/Project 5: Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: case study of the evolution of a mathematics Facebook community

You will need to use access to google scholar to view http://www.tandfonline.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/doi/abs/10.1080/17439884.2011.587435#.VFVGKFf4pAA

This case study explores the increased usage of social networking by university students.  This case study reports on the use of Facebook to support mathematical communication and encourage more participation at a UK university math department. It explores how a “student-led Facebook community became a source of conflict within the wider academic social community and how this conflict was eventually resolved”. It found that Facebook can encourage open collaborative learning and has the potential for fostering important relationships that can improve a students’ academic experience.

Case Study/Project 6:   Case Studies: Blended Learning in College

Blended learning is a growing trend in mathematical education. Khan Academy has posted this case study by Tim O’Connor, a math professor at Community College of Vermont.  He talks about using a blended-learning approach to teaching his Basic Algebra course.  This case study illustrates the many ways that social media platforms can be incorporated into a math classroom.  The primary tool highlighted is Moodle and Khan Academy videos.  The teacher also illustrates how groups and collaborative work can be developed through multiple Khan Academy tools.

Case Study/Project  7:  A Day in the Life of the iPad Classroom
Presidio Middle School in San Francisco, California used iPads to teach students algebra.  The goal was to show math processes, not just solutions.  While the material was the same in the textbook, the iPad helped students understand how to solve math problems because they were able to view videos explaining the material as many times as they needed to.  This is an excellent example of how iPads can be used in an algebra class.  The class at Presidio Middle School is part of a study of 1000 California students, 400 of who are learning algebra with iPads.  Although test scores remained consistent with those using a traditional text, the students were more engaged and interested in algebra and their overall grades improved.

Case Study/Project 8:   Atlanta Teacher Uses Angry Birds for Physics Lessons

John Burk, a ninth-grade physics teacher at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, used Angry Birds to teach students constant velocity and constant acceleration.  These are critical concepts not only in science but in math, especially algebra 2 and pre-calculus.  One of the main reasons Angry Birds has become a popular education tool with teachers nationwide is that Google Chrome made it available on the web. This has made it easier for teachers and students to use it in the classroom and scientifically analyze the launching birds.

Case Study/Project 9:  Case study: ALearn’s summer math program

This is another great resource from Khan Academy called ALearn.  It uses a blended learning approach based on the new Common Core standards. The program uses small groups, interactive hands-on activities, games, and Khan Academy computer modules to help students learn a wide variety of math topics in engaging ways.

Case Study/Project 10:   Math Teachers and Twitter

Mr. Honner explains in this blog what Twitter is and how he uses it in his math class.  Students and teachers can share ideas, ask each other questions, brainstorm project ideas, pass great around resources, and actively discuss math and teaching in a highly positive and constructive way.

Case Study/Project 11: 

The Math of Social Networks

How can you connect mathematics and social networks?  Using statistical techniques to analyze and summarize large data sets. The statistical techniques allow students/teachers to narrow the data into a few statistical measures. This blog extensively looks at the techniques of graph theory of Moses Boudourides.  It provides the analytical skills necessary to make sociological sense of a large network of connected individuals.

Case Study/Project 12:  Social Media in the Classroom

This article explores a case study involving social media in Massachusetts’ Burlington Public Schools  The district has a very progressive social media policy that is widely accepted and implemented. The Assistant Superintendent believes that it helps students become proficient not only using technology, but also to “create, critique, analyze and evaluate multimedia text”. The study does a good job of addressing multiple concerns and how this district deals with these concerns.

Case Study/Project 13: Using Twitter to Extend my Math Lessons

Mrs Wideen has her math students learn from others on Twitter and share their learning with a broader community. Through whole-group Twitter activities (mirroring their iPads through Apple TV) and individual Twitter activities (tweeting independently using iPads) her students are able to see connections beyond their classroom.

Case Study/Project 14:   Plan, Tweet, Teach, Tweet, Learn, Smile

This is one of the most creative examples of how to use Twitter to teach math.  The lesson focuses on probability.  By tweeting with people from around the world (pre-organized by the teacher) about the probability of an event.  The teacher used SMART notebook to display the responses and create a probability scale.  The genius of this lesson is that it can be adapted to multiple levels of mathematics or other curricula.

Reflection:

I began by searching for case studies that involved teachers or students using social media in their Mathematics classrooms.  At first this seemed like a very easy assignment but it proved to be very challenging for me.  I found it a lot harder than I expected to stay completely focused on how social media is used in mathematics.  I was able to find a lot of lists and links but very few actual good projects.

I used ScoopIt to curate all the case studies and projects that I found.  I tried to do approximately half case studies and half project based.  I was focused primarily of math but also chose to curate items that were generically focused on using social media in education.  I used a good variety of scholarly articles, blogs, videos, and other resources.  I thought it was important to understand how social media can be used throughout all of education. With this understanding, I will be able to create and develop my own projects.

Key characteristics

I primarily focused on Facebook and Twitter as social media tools that can be used in a mathematics classroom.

Facebook and Twitter are interesting platforms for learning for students, parents, and teachers.  Everyone is able to share their knowledge and resources.  Both Facebook and Twitter can be used to bring students together for collaboration and discussions.  Case studies have shown that Facebook can bring quiet students out of their shell by providing them a “safe” place to share their ideas and insights.  Both also allow study groups to easily connect and develop.  On Facebook Notes, students can publish their work, tag classmates, and get feedback on what they’ve created.  Twitter can allow students to get answers to their questions in real time.

 

 

 

 

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