How to Benefit from Social Media’s Evolving Role in K-12 Education

Published Fri Feb 05 00:00:00 EST 2016

By Communications Team

The right social media strategy can invigorate student learning and strengthen the school-to-home connection.


Since it first emerged over a decade ago, the application of social media in K-college education has changed dramatically. For several years social media has been recognized as a powerful tool to discover and share new learning resources and ideas, but recently even greater potential has been revealed.

Today social media enables niche communities of educators to connect across thousands of miles and supports dizzying array of educational chats on Twitter. Some schools are now turning to social media to recruit new teachers, and for years it's been an indispensable part of educators' personal learning networks (PLNs) and professional development activities.

The academic conversation has shifted from "How can we prevent social media from being a distraction?" to "How can we best make use of social technology in practical, sustainable, and secure ways?" Education advocate Diane Ravitch has spoken about the ability of social media to give a voice to teachers, parents, and students in public education. Many colleges even now take students' social media activity into consideration as part of the admissions process.

Social media has also given companies like McGraw-Hill Education an invaluable channel to inform our work in learning science with data and feedback from the entire educational community. Our own research on digital habits has shown that the same tendencies students develop through regular use social media may be advantageous when they are given access their own learning performance analytics.

At this year's Midwest Educational Technology Community (METC) conference our Sr. Digital Communications Manager, Mark Merz, will present two sessions to help educators tap into social media's power to transform K-12 education:

  • 140 (or so) Ways to Engage Students with Twitter | Tuesday, February 9 at 1:00-1:50pm CST
    In this breakout session, attendees will learn how to leverage the world's most popular real-time social media network to evolve classroom instruction, liven-up daily lessons, and deepen engagement with today's digitally-minded learners.

  • The Endless Classroom: Connecting School to Home with Social Media | Wednesday, February 10 at 9:15-10:40am CST
    Check out this fast-paced poster session to learn how the right social media strategy can support innovative new teaching models, provide continuous student engagement, and facilitate parent & school community involvement during and after school hours.

Follow us on Twitter @mheducation for updates from METC, or visit Ideas@MHE to learn how we're leveraging the science of learning to develop better education solutions for the world's learners.