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Social Media Soup: Savor the Flavor

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June 27, 2013 03:59 pm


It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to talk digital learning! Today’s post comes from Joquetta Johnson, a library media specialist in Baltimore County Public Schools.

As a self-proclaimed Social Media Butterfly, I welcome every opportunity to share my passion and knowledge of using social media as a vehicle for teaching and learning. As an avid user and advocate for social media, in November of last school year, I had the pleasure of teaching the first social media in-service course in my school district. I am still amazed at the number of educators and administrators who view social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as evil villains or monsters in a scary movie. Some run… Some hide…. Some brave souls even try to fight “The Twitter” and other social media protagonists. Instead of being fearful and combative, educators and administrators need to embrace and form an alliance with social media and in order to facilitate student engagement and academic success.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, social media is defined “forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).”  Wikipedia states, social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.  Create. Share. Exchange information and ideas… Sound Familiar? It should. These words are often read, written, or spoken when discussing 21st century skills. So, how can we use social media to support 21st century teaching and learning? First, we need to understand that social media is so much more than just Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube. Additional social media allies include:, and so on. In their 2010 Business Horizon Article, authors Kaplan and Haenlein organize social media into six categories:

  1. Blog and micoblogs – (e.g., Twitter)
  2. Collaborative Projects – (e.g., Wikipedia)
  3. Content Communities – (e.g., YouTube)
  4. Social Networking Sites – (e.g., Facebook)
  5. Virtual game worlds – (e.g., World of Warcraft)
  6. Virtual Social Worlds – (e.g., Second Life)

I would also add social bookmarking and content curation (e.g. LiveBinder) to this list. So, where and how do you begin to use

social media as a tool for instruction, engagement and even developing your own personal learning network?   I suggest you sample and savor the various flavors of social media soup. Take smalls sips to prevent burning yourself. Ask your colleagues, family, and even your students to suggest their favorites. To get you started, I have a curated a collection (menu) of social media resources to help help navigate the social media buffet.  I’m also including examples of how I use social media for teaching and learning. Have fun and enjoy as you savor the flavor of social media soup.

Personal Examples


Joquetta “The Digital Diva” Johnson is an award winning library media specialist, Google Certified Teacher and highly sought-after national presenter. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of librarianship, educational technologies and K-12 education, Joquetta continues to implement best educational practices as a library media specialist and professional development instructor for a large K-12 school district in Maryland. Joquetta is also an adjunct instructor at Morgan State University in the School of Education and Urban Leadership.  Joquetta is known for her passion- driven and energetic messages
 that inspire educators to “think and teach outside of the box” by infusing 21st Century teaching, learning and technologies into their practices. You can follow her digital footprints:



Digital Learning Series, Gear: Teaching & Professional Learning

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