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6 Tips for working with social networks in class

6 Tips for working with social networks in class
6 Tips for working with social networks in class

Is it advisable to work with social networks in the classroom? What are the habits of Generation Z? We analyze these questions and give you tips to apply social networks in class.

For the so-called Generation Z, social networks have become their main means of communication. They not only make friends, but are also active content creators. On the other hand, we can find several cases of teachers who are applying activities in class with social networks, with successful results. We will analyze its use for educational purposes and we will give you 6 tips for working with social networks in class.

Work with social networks in class, yes or no?

The question may arise as to whether it is worth using social media as an educational tool or whether it can lead to distractions.

According a Secondary teacher and accustomed to using social networks in educational projects, “it is necessary to use active methodologies and make‘ real ’proposals that are meaningful to students.” In this sense, “it is important to empower students and try to make creative use of the tools they use the most, such as social networks.”

In keeping with the words of teacher, it must be borne in mind that one of the differences between Generation Z and other generations is the use of the mobile / cell phone as the main device. For them, the computer or other devices have been in the background.

Generation Z not only consumes a large amount of content through their mobiles, but also creates their own content: images, videos, memes, gifs, stories. And this feature is the one that can be used in a positive way to incentivize them to create content in class.

Generation Z consumption habits

According to the Journal of Medical Internet Research, 78% of young people consider mobile their most important device. And according to the Pew Research Center, currently the social media preferences among teens between the ages of 13 and 16 are:

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  1. YouTube (98%)
  2. Instagram (79%)
  3. Facebook (42%)
  4. Twitter (41%)
  5. Tik Tok (40%)

Another characteristic to take into account is that it is the first generation to be socialized and educated on the Internet. “Now, your friends do them on the Internet, you do your homework on the Internet, you solve your doubts on the Internet,” For these reasons, using social networks in class can give very good results. Here are some tips to carry out.

How to start working with social networks in class?

  1. Choose the right themes: not all themes work well. One of the most used activities is to bring to life, through the networks, a character or historical figure. It is important to first visualize how the chosen character would have represented himself if he had had social media. Imagine how a concept or idea could have been debated. This way, you can get an idea if the theme will work with this social media strategy.
  2. Choose the right tools: Each social media platform has its advantages. TikTok doesn’t work as well as Twitter for debate and discussion, but it works well for telling short stories and building stories based on others’ videos. At the same time, Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and TikTok work well for small groups. It is key to be familiar with the platforms before starting the exercise.
  3. Make Choice Collaborative: Choice and collaboration are key to student acceptance. It involves students deciding which platform is the best for a project. A shared vision of the project generates enthusiasm and commitment.
  4. Participation: as a teacher create an account and join the debate also as another character. Or if it’s a video, make a cameo, a brief appearance, in your students’ videos. It also suggests ways in which students can interact with each other by making appearances in each other’s videos, acting as extras or background characters, or interacting and tagging each other on Twitter.
  5. Consider access to devices and networks: If students have devices provided by the school, it is likely that social networking sites are blocked, so they will need to use their own devices. It can also happen that some parents or students do not want to use social networks. Student participation often requires parent and student permission.
  6. Provide alternatives: provide options so that students who do not have parental permission to use social media are not excluded. They can act as extras or collaborators without the need to log into a social media account, or they can create social media content offline. The Tweetgen tool allows users to create fake tweets, adapt the topic at hand, or create videos offline. The experience can be just as fun and engaging without requiring students to use Twitter.