Using Social Media to Enhance Learning

With Winterim just days away, the community owes a debt of gratitude to Global Studies Director Kelly Neely’s 9th-grade European history class, which has been using Pinterest to curate reviews and advice about traveling abroad.

Pinterest, a social network, provides a unique platform for collecting, sharing, storing, and discovering visual boards. Boards are created and shared by users, and are made by “pinning” pictures, pages, or websites. The Gator encourages upper school students to check out Neely’s Pinterest Board, which features helpful information from her students about traveling to Belize, China, Dominican Republic, Iceland, London, France and Spain, or Rome.

Neely started using Pinterest for a class she took last summer on Islamic art, and she soon realized its myriad benefits for the classroom.

“I then begin curating a board on travel for my own interest and realized how useful it might be for our students who are traveling abroad for Winterim this year,” says Neely, who also serves as Humanities Department Co-Chair. “In addition to Pinterest, I have been using social media tools such as Twitter and Storify in the classroom for the past two years. By following news, social justice, and educational institutions in social media, students can make meaningful connections across the globe while creating a positive digital footprint.”

Neely’s students have also been using social media to research current events in various European countries.

Sophie Lapat ’18 says, “[Pinterest] helps me gain an understanding about France, before traveling there and not knowing what to expect.”

Students enjoy using technology and digital sources to enhance their understanding, explains Shani Breiman ‘18. “Its cool that we are posting on social media because we can comment on each others work,” she says. “Through social media, we are able to learn about what life is like in different countries, and we an idea of what traveling there would be like.”

Without question, an informed traveler has the edge on a more meaningful and enlightening trip. Along these lines, The Gator thanks Neely and her students for providing a great service.

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