Tag Archives: Social Media

6 Teaching Techniques

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki janetpic_preferred_cropped

An interesting blog titled “6 Teaching Techniques You Should Know!” was recently posted by Examtime, discussing important teaching techniques expected (and in a number of studies, proven) to encourage greater student curiosity and engagement. These are:

1. Flipped classroom

2. Design thinking (Case method)

3. Self-learning

4. Gamification

5. Social media

6. Free online learning tools

We believe Curriki is an important resource to support most or all of these techniques.

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The flipped classroom encourages students to prepare for a lesson’s content ahead of time, before they cover it in the classroom. This allows for deeper understanding as the material is covered in class, and greater support of individualized learning. The abundance of resources on Curriki can be used by students as part of this preparatory phase at home.

Design thinking or the case method involves brainstorming, group activity, creative thinking and analysis. Curriki provides supplementary resources across the full range of K-12 subjects that can be pulled into this process.

Self-learning is enhanced when students reach out to a variety of information sources beyond the course textbook. Natural curiosity can lead to other ways of looking at a concept and can help to reinforce the learning objectives of a course’s core curriculum.

Gamification is of course a great way to build engagement in a topic, if the game is well-designed and relevant. Curriki has game resources for math, science, engineering, health, language arts and other subjects.

Curriki is a social media site! We have over 700 groups for collaboration and sharing of ideas, and the underlying Curriki philosophy of free, open educational resources makes collaboration much easier. For example, resources can be modified or enhanced, and these enhanced resources can be shared with others via Curriki.

Free online learning tools? Well that’s what we are, a repository of over 52,000 free online learning tools and resources, available to anyone with Internet access. Nine million people have already visited Curriki. Please let your friends and associates know about the extensive set of educational resources available here on Curriki.


Technology and Learning Guides from Edudemic

KimJonesimageBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Edudemic, an educational technology web site, has produced a very nice set of guides for a set of topics in technology and learning for teachers. These can be found at http://www.edudemic.com/guides/

The covered topics in the current collection include:

  • Twitter
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Copyright and Fair Use
  • Google Glass
  • Badges in Education
  • The Library of Congress
  • Keeping Students Safe Online
  • Choosing the Best Digital Content*
  • Digital Scavenger Hunts
  • Pinterest in the Classroom

* Please think of Curriki when you are choosing digital content and other OER materials. We have close to 50,000 resources on Curriki!

The guides are no more than few pages in length each, immediately useful and to the point. For example, the Twitter guide has a great list of hashtags you can use in your tweets related to education topics, or just to interpret what others are tweeting. Below is an infographic for popular education-related hashtags.

Edudemic say they plan to provide more guides soon. These 10 guides are definitely worth checking out!


Interview with Rob Lucas, Educator and Curriki member

If you could give a TED talk, what would it be about?


The public value of learning. Social media gives students an opportunity to learn while creating knowledge of value to communities outside the school. They can conduct research of public interest, post it to blogs, wikis, and video-sharing sites, and then judge the reception of their work. By doing this, students not only develop knowledge and skills but learn why learning matters. Not everyone thinks about educational technology in these terms, so I’d like a chance to convince them. 

Why do you use Curriki?

I am inspired by the vision of educational resources that are open to all–and to building an online educational environment where teachers, students, and other citizens can learn bycontributing to the learning commons.

What advice would you give to new teachers?

Cultivate a habit of reading newspapers, magazines, professional journals, websites, and well-written public scholarship. Watch films and documentaries, too, and listen to radio and podcasts, looking for ways in which these give purpose, meaning, and value to your subject matter. Obviously, a new teacher will spend a great deal of time developing basic practices of teaching like managing a classroom–and rightly so! But the more you can remain connected to both your students and to broader public conversations, the more sustaining your work will become.  

What’s the first website you check every day?

Probably Slate.com. I love provocative well-written opinion journalism. Social studies teachers should also check out their new blog of intriguing historical documents, The Vault, written by Rebecca Onion.http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault.html

What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current role today?

Today, I’m a postdoctoral scholar, but I’d also love to be teaching high school AP US History. More and more, though, I find myself interested in documentary photography and film making. There’s no career change in my future, but with luck, I’ll find some way to work that in to my research and teaching.

Name your favorite guilty pleasure.

Spy novels on audiobook. Lately, I’ve been hooked on a mid-twentieth-century writer named Eric Ambler. Try Epitaph for a Spy or A Coffin for Dimitrios.

Social Media in the Classroom

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

An interesting report entitled Spotlight on Social Media in the Classroom is available from Education Week. The 12-page report includes 7 articles on social media usage and a useful list of over a dozen resources.

One of the articles discusses how U.S. schools are setting up connections with classrooms around the world. For example, the Plantation High School in Florida was on a video conference with Egyptian students just as the former President Mubarak was resigning from his position. They were given a window into history in the making, able to see and hear the reactions of the Egyptian students. An elementary school in Bakersfield, California has linked with classrooms in Iceland, Norway and Singapore. They were able to hear about an active volcano eruption in Iceland firsthand from children at their same grade level in the Icelandic school.

This form of digital learning and interaction is providing students, most of whom as yet have not had the opportunity to travel to another country, with real-life experiences and views of life in other parts of the world.

Another of the articles in the report is about sharing science through online communities. One of these is ecogeek.org, an environmental blogging site that provides news on green energy and the environment. Another such resource is CAISE, the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. Their site includes information on science centers and museums, afterschool programs, and gaming projects, as well as news on informal STEM education programs. ScienceGeek.net is a collection of resources, including videos, and interactive graphics, primarily in the chemistry and biology disciplines.

Curriki is of course another important social media site for K-12 education. Curriki fosters communities of education professionals around the globe and provides almost 45,000 curated resources of all kinds ranging from textbooks to videos to learning games. These are accessible by anyone, in an open source format.

The report from Education Week is available for downloading here after a short registration; we suggest you take a look!



Twitter in the Classroom – helpful or hurtful?

You can’t turn on the TV or read the news without hearing about more cuts to education or teacher layoffs. These continuing blows exacerbate the already overcrowded classrooms and further challenge teachers’ ability to reach students intimidated by the sheer class size and lack of personal interaction.  Enter stage right, Twitter to the rescue.

Twitter and other microblogging technologies are being used by teachers in K-12 and universities for many reasons yet, a top one is to increase student participation in classroom discussion. In the New York Times article on Speaking up in the Class, Silently, Using Social Media”, Trip Gabriel reports, “With Twitter and other microblogging platforms, teachers from elementary schools to universities are setting up what is known as a “backchannel” in their classes. The real-time digital streams allow students to comment, pose questions (answered either by one another or the teacher) and shed inhibitions about voicing opinions. Perhaps most importantly, if they are texting on-task, they are less likely to be texting about something else.”

By using Twitter in the classroom, teachers are re-engaging students, enriching the classroom discussion, igniting student debate, and increasing comprehension. In the article, “Tweeting Students Earn Higher Grades Than Others in Classroom Experiment, Paige Chapman of The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights a study on “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades.  The results of this study shows students using Twitter earned grade point averages a half point higher than those not using Twitter.

Is it all upside? The jury is out.  The most critical issue voiced is the lack of context or analysis in a 140 character tweet.  Lack of context, worry about bullying, and general abuse of the tweeting are all concerns. When balanced with the upside it is worthwhile? Let us know your position and experience.  Post your thoughts here or to the Curriki Facebook page.

If you’re interested in exploring Twitter in the classroom or are new to Twitter, check out the great resources below to get you started and provide interesting ways to use Twitter and social media in your classroom.

Let us know your experiences and if you think Twitter in the classroom is helpful or hurtful.


Social Media and Social Networking in Education

Photo by jurvetson via Flickr Creative Commons

[tweetmeme]There exist boundless opportunities for educators who harness the potential of social media and social networking in the classroom, from issuing homework reminders to following experts in a field of study and from collaborating within your classroom to connecting with students across the globe.  Bring the power of social media and networking into your classroom with these leaders in social media and networking and education:

  • Twitter – Twitter is more than a soapbox for sharing the mundane details of daily life: it is an excellent platform for providing and finding many superb learning resources. Check out these 9 Great Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Twitter and get started!
  • Ning – Create your own educational social network for free with Ning and enjoy an exclusive community where students and teachers can post blogs, videos, podcasts, documents and photos, and participate in group forum discussions and live chats. Learn more about what Ning can do for your classroom here. Or, join Classroom 2.0, The Global Education Collaborative or Digiteen to see how Ning can be used in education.
  • Curriki – Curriki groups allow members to exchange curricula, lesson plans and ideas on teaching practices with fellow educators and offer constructive feedback on shared resources. Groups are available for every subject area and may be specific to one district or department, or be a global community of educators.  Find out more about Connecting on Curriki, and begin collaborating today! To see what Curriki communities are like, check out Digital Tools for Homework Help and the New Teachers Group.
  • Facebook – Bring Facebook and education together, and discover new ways to interact with students, teachers and experts, share knowledge, and give support. For further information, go to the Facebook in Education page for resources, stories and safety tips for using social networking in the classroom.

How are you using social media or social networking in your practice? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Photo by jurvetson via Flickr Creative Commons


10 Ways to Support OERs via Social Media

[tweetmeme]A colleague of mine recently sent me the Mashable post, “#10Ways to Support Charities Through Social Media”. As a follow-up, I thought it would be fun to create a list specific to Open Education Resources (OERs). So, here it goes…

1)    Write a blog post about OERs—If you find a great free and open education resource on sites like Curriki, OER Commons and Flat World Knowledge, write a short post about it! Teachers are always looking for great free classroom content online that has been endorsed by a fellow educator!

2)    Share OER stories with friends—If you’ve written a blog about OERs, post a link to the entry on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, or Google Buzz. Or, just post a link to the resource itself. Curriki makes this process easy! Open any resource on Curriki and click on the “Share” button at the top of the page. This will allow you to share the gift of free lessons with your social networks in a click!

3)    Follow OERs on Twitter and Facebook—We tweet @Curriki. To find other OER tweeters, go to Twitter Search and type in #OER. Many OERs have Facebook fan pages as well.

4)    Support OERs on Awareness Hubs—Several websites have popped up to support non-profits in their work. Take a look at Facebook Causes, iGive and iSearch to start!

5)    Find Volunteer Opportunities—OERs are always looking for enthusiastic educators to share their knowledge with classrooms around the world. When you visit an OER like Curriki, Connexions or FreeReading, most have explicit information on how you can donate lessons, expertise and time from the comfort of your own classroom or home. Check out the Curriki donate page to start!

6)    Embed an OER Badge on Your Site—Feel good about connecting teachers in need of high quality online content with great OERs by putting a widget or badge on your blog, website, Facebook page and more.

7)    Organize a Tweetup—Meet OER fans offline at events like the upcoming Communia Workshop in Turkey or the ISTE Conference in Denver. Or, create an event in your hometown. For tips on how to organize a successful tweetup, check out Mashable’s guide to tweetups.

8)    Talk about your love of OERs on Video—Then post the video on YouTube, Vimeo and other online video services. Even though the OER movement is growing stronger by the second, many people don’t know about it. Connect great teachers with great free content. Spread the word about OERs!

9)    Petition for the use and creation of OERs in your School Districts—I am always surprised when I meet with schools districts unaware about OERs (especially the cost savings of OERs!) or districts that don’t allow teachers to put district-created lesson plans online open source (Wouldn’t a teacher in Cambodia benefit from a math resource from your district or county and vise versa?! Were tax dollars used to create that content?! Hmm!). Use tools like Petition Online and Twitition to rally for the use and sharing of OERs within your district and beyond!

10) Organize an Online Event—Invite your friends to a tweet-a-thon and tell them to tweet great OERs to the world during a specific time period with a hashtags like #OER or #IloveOERs!

Social media is the perfect tool for spreading great ideas. Tell us how you are using social media to support the OER movement by posting a comment on this blog or by sending us a tweet @Curriki.

From one OER fan to another,

Anna Batchelder

Curriki International Consultant


Note: The image above was created by Fred Cavazza and is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.