How to Use Social Media to Enjoy a Better Online Learning Experience

Barry Lenson

How to Use Social Media to Enjoy a Better Online Learning Experience

Use Social Media to Enjoy Online Learning“6 Social Media Suggestions for Your Online Course,” a recent post that Melissa Venable wrote for the College Online blog, offers some excellent suggestions for teachers who want to use social media sites to create better online courses.

She offers some great ideas. For example, she writes that course instructors can create virtual online course libraries on, and also post lectures on YouTube.  Those are excellent suggestions. But for the purposes of today’s post on the StraighterLine Blog, let’s ask a different question . . .

If you’re an online student, how can you use social media to improve your learning experience?

Here are some ideas to consider . . .

  1. Tweet course alerts and other information to your class. “Create a class hashtag,” Venable suggests – and her idea would work well for students, not only course instructors. “These keywords used with the `#’ symbol allow you and your students to filter the Twitter stream for information related to the course.”
  2. Create virtual study groups on Facebook. In an excellent post on the Chatty Professor Blog, Ellen Bremen recently laid out some smart ways to use class-specific groups. One is to ask for help by posting a statement like, “Hey, is anyone out there available? I need a call/an hour at a coffee shop/a minute to help me with ___________.”
  3. Use a Facebook page as a resource for all students who are in the class. You and your classmates can post videos, articles, and links to resources that can help everyone learn and enjoy the course more.
  4. Create a Pinterest board for the class. Whenever you and other students come across a website that could be helpful to the class, “pin” it and save it to your page. In only a few days, your class will have created a useful and growing resource for everyone.
  5. Use the Twitter search function as a research tool. You’ve used to using Google to search for course information. But have you tried the Twitter search window too? If you search for a topic that you are researching, you will quickly find other tweets that pertain to it. Try it. It’s one of the more powerful research tools we’ve seen lately.

Those are only a few suggestions for ways to use social media to supercharge your online learning experiences. Have you discovered some too? Great! Why not take a moment and let us know what they are?

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