If you want to see how you can use a social media tool as an extension of the classroom then go to www.meetatrecess.com and create your classroom there for the coming school year. The network is called Recess and it is FREE!
Once you have signed up you can create your classroom and invite students to join you within it. Use the calendar to schedule class and school events, post homework and provide other information to your students. Put video, pictures, documents and learning resources right in your virtual room. You have a pin board that is just like the wall in Facebook. You have personal profile pages where you and your students can share information about themselves. Use the internal chat and email in a safe environment.
Recess is a tool that can be used by young and old. It is intuitive. You can customize the look and feel of your pages and you can use the online resources that are provided free of charge.
Recess is a product of Enable Inc., a Toronto, Ontario, Canada, company that has been building proprietary web applications for over 10 years. Recess is free because its sister products aimed at corporations, government and NGOs are not. Those products generate the income that allows Enable to offer Recess to educators at no charge.
Recess has been used in the Toronto District School Board, Canada's largest, for a number of years. It was started to help encourage at-risk youth in a middle school to stay in school. It made an immediate impact on that school and resulted in its wider usage across many schools in Toronto.Schools in Florida, Ohio and other U.S. states have been using Recess. Why not you at your school?
Recess is different from Blackboard. It is truly a social network application that has a feel similar to Facebook but is built around virtual classrooms to give it a focus and purpose. That's what makes it such a great learning environment to add to your bricks and mortar classroom learning environment.
To learn more you can go to www.meetatrecess.com, or write me back at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to motivate your students in a medium in which they are already deeply engaged.