Additional student reengagement articles:
By Jessica Born, Digital Marketing Manager
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
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
- “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
- “My TikTok videos provide on-the-spot
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
According to Shauna
of child and youth
studies at Brock
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.
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.