Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

Using Social Media to Support Teaching & Learning

What follows is a set of notes made during this week’s AoC free webinar on the subject of social media in teaching & learning.

  • Ian Fordham, The Education Foundation
  • Ty Goddard, The Education Foundation
  • Caroline Millin, Facebook
  • Scott Hayden, Basingstoke College
  • Lou Mycroft, The Northern College

Scott is a specialist practitioner of educational technology. He put together, with his students, a video about how social media is used:

He makes use of Facebook groups- for students to share interesting links, ideas and articles; especially for his students with specific needs. The learners have developed their communication skills and confidence. It also becomes a bank of resources for projects.

Twitter for weekly debates- across the ocean debates- #ATODebates: the students are building up the ability to see beyond the views and opinions of their own peer group. They’re being made employable beyond study at college. They’re also building a digital reputation.

Social media is undeniably the future- it’s not going anywhere. Use Vine, Instagram and Snapchat to promote your college as well as connecting with industry so that employers can see what the students are doing. Raise the stakes of students’ work by engaging with the outside world.

Lou- The Northern College– a Teacher Education Programme using Facebook. Every few weeks, the students attend for a couple of residential days and it was important for the learners to communicate in between sessions. Yammer us used for the safer closed groups before they graduate to using Twitter and Facebook. Teaching digital resilience has been important.

Social Media does change what teachers need to do- organisations need to realise this. Developing a set of skills around working more creatively is important for teachers so that social media isn’t just added to what they’re already doing but that it transforms it.

Digital reputation- there is a responsibility to be safe as well as positive online.

Teachers do have the fear that social media will cut into their personal time but it needs to be seen as a more flexible way of working- it’s down to us and the students to manage our time effectively.


We shouldn’t feel embarrassed that, as staff, we are learning alongside learners. Organisations should be more open to engaging learners and staff in joint projects and collaborations.


Ensure that your safeguarding officers and managers have your login details and access to all groups.


There are so many reasons for selling the use of social media for professional and study reasons to adults (even if they don’t use it in their personal lives).


It is a transferable skills set to many businesses- so many of them are looking towards social media and how it can influence their business therefore students who are social media savvy will be more employable.

Exam boards

Exam boards are open to assessment methods that are wide, varied and truly differentiated.

Other advantages for students

It generates student communities, which is fab for collaborative project work: access to social media makes the communication on those projects a great deal easier.

Building confidence of learners who are less confident. Social media removes the anxiety for many learners so that they can evidence their knowledge without feeling terrified.

Linked In for a public profile to showcase skills, students can endorse one another and a Weebly website to demonstrate their learning and showcase it in one place.

Social media doesn’t need to replace face-to-face communication…and shouldn’t.

We shouldn’t be leaving this to other people. We, as educators, need to take charge of this tool and get involved.

It needs to become a whole college approach if it is to have the greatest impact.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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