Successes and Challenges of Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

Thursday 1:30pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 222
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Alison Jolley (AJ), University of Waikato
Our students are increasingly connected and engaged with various social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook. How can we leverage this to build motivation and facilitate learning of earth science concepts? This workshop will explore considerations and approaches for integrating social media into teaching and learning environments. Participants will be introduced to different styles of social media, share resources and examples, and develop strategies for incorporating social media into their own classrooms.

No prior experience with social media is necessary for participation in this workshop. Please bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe and compare the purpose and format of four types of social media: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
  2. Identify preexisting or new learning objective(s) that could be met using student interaction with social media.
  3. Develop a strategy for incorporating social media into your classroom.
  4. Analyze the benefits and drawbacks of using social media in teaching and learning.


Social Media_EER 2019_Workshop Slides.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 847kB Jul24 19)

1:30 Welcome and introductions, form small groups

1:45 Jigsaw exercise, each participant to learn about a different type of social media and then report back to their small groups (Goal #1)

Social Media_EER 2019_Jigsaw_ALL METHODS.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 78kB Jul11 19)

2:15 Fill out course context worksheet to make links, think about where and what type of social media is relevant to you (Goal #2)

Social Media_EER 2019_Course Context.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB Jul11 19)

2:30 Break

2:40 Fill out course planning worksheet, start developing a social media strategy for your context (Goal #3)

Social Media_EER 2019_Course Planning.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Jul11 19)

3:15 Discussion, benefits and drawbacks of social media in teaching and learning (Goal #4)

3:45 Wrap-up and evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


Social Media_EER 2019_Resources.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 17kB Jul16 19)

Other points of discussion and recommended pages from workshop participants:

Facebook group with geology-related discussions: "Geologists Drinking Beer"