Social Media lets you share what you know/want to know/learned (KWL) with a large and varied audience!
The KWL Chart, a main-stay in my classes for Problem Based Learning, helps your students gather what they already know about the topic, what they want to know, and finally, after they are done, they update the chart with what they learned. Now, this is an excellent activity to help students organize their thinking and learning, and gets them to excercise some meta-congnition, exploring their understanding of the learning process.
What Social Media brings to this activity is the ability to go one step further and to share with their friends, family, peers and others what they learned! By tweeting a link to an excellent resource they found and was instrumental to their understanding, they are sharing the best of the best. By starting a facebook conversation about a topic explored in class, they are extending the classroom to be more meaningful and accessible, allowing more students to participate. By creating a blog about their own experiences and learning development, they are helping students like themselves understand the learning process and what it takes to master something new.
Social Media allows our students to share their work outside of the classroom and school walls, allowing the greater community to be a part of the education of a child. The KWL chart is very individual, but if we adapt it to include SHARING so that it is now a KWLS chart, they can document which Social Media tools they plan on using to publish and distribute their new knowledge and learning development, and why they are choosing that tool. This can extend the teaching tool to be even more useful and collaborative!
It’s not just what you know, how you learned it, or what you learned, but how you plan on sharing it with your social community using Social Media!