How to use an Activity Feed to Improve Classroom Engagement
K-12 teachers can use social-inspired activity feeds to foster communication and collaboration in class or at home.
For many people, including K-12 students, social media is part of the daily routine, and teachers can use this behavior to their benefit.
Rather than thinking of social media solely as a classroom distraction, teachers should see it as a source of creative inspiration—a wellspring for developing strategies around improving student engagement and the learning experience overall.
A social media-inspired activity feed, for example, particularly one that’s integrated into a learning environment, can provide teachers with an effective tool for encouraging communication and collaboration, especially in blended learning environments and flipped classrooms.
Check out how the new activity feed in Brightspace helps create engaged classrooms:
Here are some of the benefits of activity feeds:
- Social-inspired activity feeds are aligned with familiar patterns, themes and functionalities found in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This makes them easy to use and navigate.
- Teachers are always “racing the bell.” It’s not uncommon that they run out of time to hear from everyone (especially the quiet kids). Using an activity feed, teachers can post items those students can comment on from home, after class.
- Regularly using an activity feed to share information is a much easier and organized process than writing up a newsletter or sending out emails.
- An activity feed can grab and keep students’ interest and allow them to engage with teachers and their peers wherever and whenever.
- Teachers can delight students with timely feedback.
- Activity feeds put everything right in front of you, and anyone can add anything at any time. For example, teachers can add stuff for students the morning before a class.
- With an activity feed, students can easily see what’s expected of them every day and get a jump-start on classroom work and easily access the resources they need.
- Kids can log into a learning environment and check the activity feed for what they need to do from home, while parents can log in and look at the activity feed to learn about what students are doing day-to-day.
Here are some different ways you can use activity feeds:
- Make announcements, post assignments, assign homework and add reminders about things like upcoming work, tests, labs, and assemblies. You can also share links to learning materials.
- Pre-plan by using an activity feed to get feedback from students around topics that will help to gauge how they will react to an upcoming lesson.
- Share videos and games from third-party providers in one place.
- Post quizzes as homework.
- Use an activity feed to poll students and use the results to invigorate engagement in the classroom.
- Begin lessons with discussions based on poll results.
- Use polls to ask students questions and see their responses daily.
- Determine what students believe are relevant and timely discussion topics.
- Regular polls can engage students in classroom communication and collaboration by keeping them “coming back for more.”