It seems like every day we hear about a new social media tool that promises to be the next big thing. But for every Instagram or Pinterest, there's a months-old networking or sharing site that is growing dust. And as busy teachers, who has time for that? The five sites below, however, have snagged our attention for one major reason—they have the potential to make your job easier. Here's why we think you should pay attention, too:
- Riffle: If you love reading and books as much as we do, then you’ll want to check out this new community devoted to all things literary, where you’ll find recommendations for your classroom as well as yourself. Users share what they are reading in addition to making lists such as “Kids Books About Silent Movies” and “Children’s Fiction That Deals With Tragedy.” We love it!
- theLearnia: The flipped classroom of social networks, theLearnia offers a place for students and teachers to ask and answer questions as well as watch video lessons. You can upload videos just for your students or share them with the broader community.
- Tioki: Think of Tioki as a LinkedIn that’s just for teachers and others passionate about education. You can share your experience and expertise, connect with other educators who share your interests and share resources such as lesson plans and apps. And who knows—you might just land yourself a sweet new teaching gig, too.
- Nextdoor: Anyone on a neighborhood email list knows how unwieldy those can get—well Nextdoor makes things simpler by offering a private space for you to connect with the people who live in your immediate community. Which means the next time you need a cup of sugar—or 30 paper towel tubes, stat—you’ll be set!
- Learnist: On Learnist, you and your students can easily create boards around an educational theme—think “San Diego pollution,” or “Scarlett Letter adaptations,” using video, images, and text, then share your work with other classrooms around the world.
What do you think? Will you check out any of these new tools? Or are there other social media sites on your radar? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.