Using social media in the classroom: Interview

I recently had the pleasure to talk with wired educator and online writer Lisa Mansfield for an article about the benefits and challenges of using social media in the classroom. From the interview:

LM: What Advantages Does Social Media Afford Educators?

MM: Social media is a great tool for bringing the classroom to life. I use social bookmarks instead of traditional textbooks in my courses because I need the content to be cutting edge. It doesn’t get any more cutting edge than the content that’s online. So instead of a textbook I used social bookmarking tools like Delicious to share the most current articles, websites or content, and my students subscribe to the RSS. Every time I add a new bookmark, they are notified automatically.

Students are also expected to use the bookmarking tool to find, collect, contextualize and share articles relevant to their field. They also maintain blogs during the course. By using these tools, they’re learning to be responsible for staying on top of industry trends and information.

For more extended commentary and links to outside resources, you can read about my adventure in “Classroom2.0: Twitter, delicious and participatory learning” or check out my ongoing posts on social media and education. In the meantime, I invite you to share your own thoughts on the challenges and benefits of using social media in the classroom in a comment below!