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Home > About Us > Tick Tock, TikTok . . . a time for social learning

Tick Tock, TikTok . . . a time for social learning

Published June 4, 2021
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Additional student reengagement articles:

Digital Space

By Jessica Born, Digital Marketing Manager
jborn@pitsco.com

We’ve heard a lot about the learning gap that the pandemic has created in its wake. We’ve also heard a lot about the amazing efforts of educators in this past year. Teachers have truly gone above and beyond to reach and care for students and teach in new ways on short notice while in a state of ever-evolving guidelines.

Many educators, from all grade levels, turned to social media to help bridge gaps and stay in touch.

From lessons on TikTok, virtual field trips on Facebook Live, Zoom brain breaks, and more, educator creativity, patience, organization, and perseverance made it happen.

As we move toward students back in classrooms and on to summer break and even the next year, attention has turned to the remediation and acceleration of learning for our students. There are many approaches, opinions, and plans for how to recover, reenergize, and tackle the work. It’s likely that many of those new methods and tools used during the pandemic, including social media, will be a part of those plans.

SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN EXTENSION OF THE CLASSROOM

TikTok in particular has gained some steam with educators. Basically, the classroom comes to them with this format, and we kind of love it. Edutopia recently shared the video, “A Classroom Without Walls: Teachers Take Their Lessons to TikTok.” The teachers featured in the video share grammar lessons and biology lessons, not often popular topics for social spaces, but both teachers rock it and have gained large followings with people all over the world, well beyond their enrolled students. (Remediation for all!) Both teachers shared similar sentiments for turning to TikTok – they just wanted to connect with their students and help them better understand concepts.

Some of the things they shared that stood out:

  • “I wanted to meet my students where they were.”
  • “TikTok makes you get it right – you only have 60 seconds to explain a concept, and you’ve got to hit the main points.”
  • “Students have 24/7 access to me as a teacher.”
  • “My TikTok videos provide on-the-spot remediation.”

Another favorite comment: students who might be embarrassed to ask questions in the classroom can utilize this format at home and re-watch to gain better understanding.

“According to members of the #TeachersOfTikTok and #learnonTikTok communities – common hashtags that educators use, with 7.6 billion views and 77.2 billion views, respectively – teachers are using the platform to craft bite-sized micro lessons or assignments, learn from colleagues, start TikTok clubs, and connect with students” (Edutopia). We can see why these educators, and those like them, are a hit. Mini lessons on-demand. The ability to re-watch. Plus, humor, fun, and creativity.

SOCIAL MEDIA AS CONNECTION POINT

In another Edutopia article, teachers noted that they were struggling to build relationships and connections with their students via distance. Again, it was about going to where the students were, and that meant TikTok. When teachers started posting videos, they felt like students were more responsive, and they regularly saw increased participation and engagement.

According to Shauna Pomerantz, an associate professor of child and youth studies at Brock University in Southern Ontario, Canada:

TikTok can help educators connect to students because it “is a lingua franca for young people,” and by speaking their language and even just talking with them about the platform, educators show that they are open to learning about students’ worlds.

“Imagine what happens to young people’s minds when they hear, ‘Hey, I’m here to teach you some stuff, but you’re also here to teach me some stuff, and I’m ready to learn from you,’” she said.

TikTok not for you? No worries. Find a platform you enjoy that students are present on and go for it. Unsure of where to start? Look back at previous Network articles for tips. And, as a built-in bonus, use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to help build your professional learning network.

PS: While Pitsco isn’t on TikTok (yet), we are on many platforms that teachers like you are on too! We regularly share inspiration, activities, and more. Find us at Pitsco.com/Social.

LAST NOTE:

It wouldn’t be a social article without noting that there are privacy considerations and implications to consider when you’re working online. Keep boundaries with a dedicated teacher account used only for education purposes. For more details, check out this resource from Student Privacy Compass.

“The best part is they’re getting the hands-on, practical experience of doing the activity and working through all the logistics and the questions of how it would work. It’s not just a bunch of theory and ideas. They’re actually doing the activity, which is going to be valuable for them to take into the classroom because they will know what to expect.”

– Joseph Santos, principal, Vista View Middle School, Fountain Valley, California

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