Conrad’s class at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Glen Ellyn is among a growing number that use social media and other technology to supplement lessons, even for very young students.
Her students also contribute to a classroom blog, make videos for a private YouTube account intended for parents, and write books using computer software.
Conrad and other teachers who use kid-friendly blogging programs and social media are finding the tools are becoming integral parts of their classrooms.
Conrad’s class tweeting sessions, which usually come at the end of the day for about 20 minutes, keep communication open with parents and help the kids learn typing, spelling and reading, Conrad said. Getting to push the “tweet” button is also an exciting privilege.
“It’s kind of our class meeting at the end of the day,” Conrad said. “This is really great for reflection.”
“Kids actually want to use the technologies, and if we make them education tools, we have kind of a win-win,” Vinca said.
Churchill Elementary first-grade teacher Whitney Crouch said her Glen Ellyn students use secure blogging software made especially for classrooms. She said they use it to share ideas or stories, and she sees some who may not be confident writers with paper and pencil soar in front of a laptop.
Crouch, 31, said students like knowing they have an audience for their missives and being able to reach out to their loved ones who may live in other states.