Creating a Deliberate Social Media Space for Students in School


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

This semester I have been using Edublogs with my students. This has included managing over 70 student blogs, all facilitated through one ‘class’ blog. By using this workflow, students are able to keep up with different ideas being shared in the stream presented within the dashboard. A stripped back view of the posts which, like applications and add-ons, such as Pocket and Evernote’s Clearly, cut posts back to their basics. This has worked for some, while for others the experience is frustrating. Although some get annoyed at the visual layout, the biggest issue seems to be managing the plethora of information in a meaningful way.

One solution that I have been tinkering with of late is changing the way I use the class blog. Originally, I had imagined using the central space to house resources about blogging. Whether it be creating images, visualising information or adding different content. Although I still think that there is a place for such posts, I wonder if they are best housed elsewhere leaving the class space becomes something of a meeting spot. The question though is how?

One idea that I came upon via Doug Belshaw on the TIDE Podcast is to use the P2 Theme within WordPress (Houston in Edublogs) to create a personalised social media space. Unlike the usual blogging themes, which rely on navigating the dashboard and drafting posts, P2 constrains the process to being able to quickly text and tag. My thought was that students could then share canonical links to their work or other interesting ideas, similar to Twitter. It also provides a safe space to learn about social media and explore. Although spaces like Edmodo and Google Classroom offer a similar functionality, neither allows users to organise their posts or have any sort of ownership over their content.

Although Twitter would offer much the same experience, it is not necessarily the solution for every context. One of the issues that is brought up again and again is the privacy. Creating a digital sandpit is a step towards that in that it provides the means for a safer and more supportive environment. Whether it be knowing what to share or how to protect themselves online, we need to consciously teach our students best practise when it comes to participating on the web. We need to develop the deliberate practice of students regularly sharing their work and ideas in collaborative spaces.

For a different perspective on technology and web literacy, watch Cory Doctorow’s informative TED Talk which explores the questions of privacy and networks in schools:


If you enjoy what you read here, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter to catch up on all things learning, edtech and storytelling.

Aaron Davis

I am an Australian educator supporting schools with the integration of technology and pedagogical innovation. I have an interest in how together we can work to make a better world.

Latest posts by Aaron Davis (see all)

<span class='p-name'>Creating a Deliberate Social Media Space for Students in School</span> by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 thoughts on “Creating a Deliberate Social Media Space for Students in School

  1. Blogging Resources

    6 min read

    A collection of resources assocatied with blogging:Why Blog?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=134">I Blog Therefore I Am</a>A collectuon of thoughts regards the benefits of blogging.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=537">Blogging Starts with Why</a>There is so much written about why to blog, this post starts with finding your reason.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2433">Developing a Blog</a>Often blogs are spoken about as some sort of fixed entity. Sadly, this focuses on the what overlooks how and why we blog in the first place.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1710">Why Blogging Still Matters</a>With the rise of various social media spaces in education, such as Facebook and Google+, blogs matter more than ever for they offer control and privacy that other spaces do not provide.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2364">The Many Faces of Blogging</a>Some break blogging down into tasks or unpacking the response. However, we often overlook the purpose and intent behind them.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=568">5 Ways to Change the World Yesterday</a>Why associated with blogging starts with me, but it is through sharing that ideas and thinking are given the possibility to grown and develop,<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1102">Blogging in the Classroom</a>A reflection on my experiences of blogging in the classroom.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=686">There is More Than One Way to Write a Blog</a> Often it is presumed that there is only one way to write a blog, this post unpacks some other possibilities, including as a means of collecting links and resources. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=78">Sharing the Load of Blogging In and Out of the Classroom</a>Exploring the different possibilities and potentials of collaborative blogging beyond the classroom. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=133">Sharing the Load of Blogging</a> A reflection on the idea of a collaborative school blog to share practice. Which Platform?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2325">A Guide to Blogging Platforms and their Niches</a>A summary of some of the different blogging services available, what they enable and where their biases lie. Included are an array of resources to support.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1286">Creating a Deliberate Social Media Space for Students in School</a>To support students in regards to digital citizenship, use WordPress to create a social space, therefore gaining more control over online presence<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1134">Starting with Edublogs from Scratch</a>I have discussed the benefits of blogging with Global2, as well as some of the intricacies, however, I have not unpacked how to get started.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=794">Introduction to Blogging with Global2</a>Some of the possibilities for blogging with Global2/Edublogs, as well as a list of resources to with getting going.How To Engage?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=598">To Comment or Not To Comment? Is that the Question</a>There are many out there who say blogging is dead and that this is best epitomised in lack of dialogue and conversation. This post provides a different perspective by reframing the question.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1959">What Makes a Comment?</a>A question that does not get asked often enough is what it actually means to comment and what might it mean to bring the comment back?<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1763">Reading Texts is Easy, especially When You Listen to Them</a>Although not directly on blogging, it captures some different ways to listen to blogs, rather than read them.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1052">Ten Step Guide to Being Connected</a>An attempt at a guide to getting connected. Having a blog as a place for people to hear your story is an essential part of it.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=834">A Guide to Following Blogs</a>A post that explains some different ways to follow a blog, including subscribing, via an RSS Reader or an automated recipe using a platform like IFTTT.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=76">Are You Really Connected If You Are Not Giving Back</a>One of the challenges with a participatory environment is that without contributions there is no network. So it begs the question, are you really connected if you are not giving back?Reflection<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=68">Read, Write, Respond</a>A reflection on the decisions associated with beginning a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2337">A Blog for All Seasons</a>Different blogging platforms enable different possibilities. Here is an account of some examples that I have created over time.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=444">Uncanny Reflections on a Year Blogging</a>Memories forgotten can often haunt us when later uncovered. This post is about three posts that had this effect.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1322">Reflecting on the Voices in the Village</a>Rather than look back at the number of hits to measure the impact, here is a collection of comments from readers collected across the year. Creating Content<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1122">Creating Images for Blogs</a>A list of programs with their positives and negatives for making visual quotes to add to blogs and other social media platforms.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1069">Who’s Telling Your Story</a> An introduction to Storify, a platform that allows you to curate tge content a number of social media platforms and then embed it within a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1255">Powering Up Your Blog by Adding Content</a>Incorporate different content, such as video, GIFs and audio, in order to improve engagement and communicate using a different voice.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1203">A Guide to Visualisations</a>There are so many different forms of visuals that you can add to a blog, from a mind map to a sketchnote, each adding to the mental image of the reader.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1266">Making My Own Maps with Google Apps</a>Another point of contact to embed in a blog.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=971">An Introduction to GIFs</a>A guide to creating and sharing GIFs. Reviews<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=2348">Claim Your Domain</a>A review of Audrey Watters book on why it is important to claim our presence online and some steps to going about it.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1885">School of Thought</a>A review of Dan Haesler 's book. Although not solely about blogging, he touches on it throughout.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=850">Master Teacher to Master Learner</a>A review of Will Richardson's book unpacking connected learning. Blogging is an important part of this. <a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=12">Things Are Not Always As They Seem</a>A collection of short reviews, including a comment on Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think and David Weinberger’s To Big to Know<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=1153">(Re)Claiming My Space on the Web</a>A reflection on my experience of blogging with Reclaim Hosting so far.<a href="http://readwriterespond.com/?p=416">Looking for a Local Perspective on Blogging</a>In response to AITSL’s dismal attempt to provide a list of bloggers for educators to read, this is my attempt to capture a local perspective. Other Resources<a href="https://www.diigo.com/user/aarondavis/blogging">Diigo Library</a> Blogs to <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u8rMEt-jocpL3qZTqFa25AF9Ak67XfOApNFOS7KBC18/edit?usp=sharing">Follow</a> &amp; <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7zjf-LFJlqWS3pqanhlOVk2NEE/view?usp=sharing">OPML for Feedly</a>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *