Initially, when we were asked to research 10 to 15 educational projects that successfully used social media as a tool in our content area, I got excited to see what success stories I would find. However, in the first few hours of research, I realized I wasn't finding much at all. Through talking with my professor via email, I decided to broaden my search from searches specific to Algebra 1 or Geometry to just math in general. Upon searching this way I was able to find so much more. I also began listing specific social media sites within my search to get a wide variety of tools being used. Through my research and early frustration, I was able to find posts about Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Edmodo, Skype, and multiple blog platforms being used successfully for math. You can find my curation on all of the ideas I found at the following link: http://www.pearltrees.com/mskmjohnson/social-media-math-classrooms/id17954523.
Through reading all of these articles and blog posts about success stories, I found an overarching theme. The goal was to make learning fun yet successful for students in all types of math classes and to broaden their math vocabulary while doing so. These are three areas that I would really love to improve within my own classroom and now I have some great ideas to take with me come this fall. While all of these uses of social media seemed to make the learning fun, through really reading them and looking at student examples, it can be seen that students are really grasping the math concepts on a higher level and also seem to be putting more effort into their work. I believe that it helped students put that effort in knowing they were using technology that they have grown up using.
The Twitter and blogs seemed to have a theme of students writing in math, giving feedback to one another, and sharing their own thoughts or questions on math topics. Edmodo was used to flip the classroom but in a way that allowed students to still communicate with the teacher and each other while doing so. Rather than communicating with just their own classmates, the post I found about Skype had students communicating with students from another math class as well. Then the uses of Instagram and Snapchat really seemed to take students thinking to another level where Instagram was used to post word problems students came up with themselves and Snapchat was used to capture an image to use to solve a problem. All of these platforms and ways of usage are great for the math learner and I can see myself incorporating any of them within my class. Even some of the posts that weren't specifically about high school math I could easily flip and manipulate to a topic that my students will learn about. These will be great ways to make a more positive and fun learning environment for students and I'm excited to try some of them in the future.
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