100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teaching Students About Social Media

By Tara Miller

Some educators have expressed an appreciation for the irony of experienced instructors who have had to learn about social media later in their careers teaching it to younger students who have grown up in an Internet environment. Despite what may seem to be somewhat of a disadvantage, the experienced teacher brings life lessons and the ability to guide students in a positive direction no matter the topic being taught. The following tips, tools, and resources can assist any teacher with the basics about social media and ways to share that information with students.

Tips and Resources for Educators

From tips on combating fear of social media to tools and articles to help guide you, these resources will get you off to a good start.

  1. Social Media Classroom. This free, open-source resource allows teachers to teach social media through using it. This is a great tool for those teaching social media.
  2. Teaching with Social Media. Elizabeth Losh, a writing director at UC Berkeley, has put together this page of notes about teaching social media that includes statistics, examples, and principles.
  3. Teaching Social Media. This blog is about teaching social media to marketing students, but offers great information on the world of social media that all teachers may find helpful.
  4. Teaching Social Media by addressing Fear. This article outlines several common fears those unfamiliar with social media encounter and ways to combat this fear.
  5. Opencast Project Open House at UC Berkeley. This 1 hour video presentation discusses using audio and visual media as a tool for learning.
  6. Introduction to Copyright Law. Study with this open courseware class from MIT to learn the basics of copyright law–with a heavy emphasis on Internet-related topics.
  7. Copyright for Educators. Specifically for teachers, this blog post includes an hour-long presentation on copyright issues.
  8. A Fair(y) Use Tale. This video introduces copyright and fair use policy.
  9. Moodle. Moodle is a free, popular tool among educators who want to create a space for their class to have access to forums, wikis, databases, and much more.
  10. Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age: A New Model for the Workplace. Watch this video to learn what Pixar University’s Randy Nelson believes schools must do to better prepare students for careers in new media.


Help students learn about networking with these tips and resources.

  1. Networking. This list of links will help students learn what they should and shouldn’t do when networking online.
  2. ‘Online Social Networking on Campus’. This article offers a Q and A that describes how online social networking is used by students and what direction it is likely to take in the future.
  3. Students Turn to Social Networking Sites for Info. This article offers a real-life example of the value of social networking as a news vehicle.
  4. How Social Networking Affects the Student Life Cycle — From Applicant to Graduate. Read what these professionals from US colleges have to say about social networking and college students.
  5. Networking Timetable for College Students. Students can use this outline to prepare for a successful networking experience.
  6. Participate. For social networking to be effective, you have to participate. Be sure you set up a profile and join in the community.
  7. Get to know each other. Social networking provides a unique way of getting to know people in a deeper way through ambient awareness.
  8. Stay in contact. Social networking allows students to make contacts and friends early in their lives that they can maintain into adulthood. These contacts may become important when it comes to establishing a career.
  9. Get to know your instructors. Establishing professional working relationships with instructors not only provides students with a better educational experiences, but also establishes references after graduation.
  10. Network through discussion groups. Joining discussion groups revolving around topics being studied in school or particular career aspirations is an excellent way to practice social and professional networking skills.

Creating a Positive Web Presence

Students should learn from the very beginning that everything they do online says something about them–and will always be a part of their web presence. Help guide them with these resources.

  1. Keep Your E-Image Clean. Students can learn why it is important to keep their Internet image clean and how to do so here.
  2. Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand. Help students discover how to establish a personal web presence with this article.
  3. Your On-Line Life is Your Reputation: Dos, Don’ts and Tips. Have students follow these tips for managing their online reputation.
  4. Managing Your Online Reputation: A College Student’s Perspective. Here’s the perspective of a college student discussing online reputation.
  5. Protecting Your Online Reputation. This article offers common-sense tips and reminders about online reputation.
  6. Not Just Your Space – the FREE ebook by Naymz. Written to help college students learn how to keep their online image looking great, this book is free to download.
  7. What You Say Online Could Haunt You. This article chronicles several real-life situations where students suffered the consequences of what they posted on social networking sites.
  8. This site offers help establishing websites, online resumes, and more and is run for college students by college students.
  9. Student Brand Makeover. Show students this video to learn how to present yourself in the most favorable light when finding a job, internship, or other similar situation.
  10. Reputation Defender Blog. Follow this blog for advice on keeping online reputations clean as well as keeping up with social networking trends.
  11. How to Manage Your Reputation Online. This article offers ways to promote your reputation online while also monitoring anything new that shows up about you online.


Learn how to set up a classroom blog, safety rules for students, laws everyone should be aware of, and more.

  1. Blogging in the Classroom. Watch this video to learn about the benefits of blogging and learn how to set up a classroom blog.
  2. Managing Comments and Posts On Student Blogs Using Google Reader. Learn an easy way to keep up with student posts as well as a helpful tutorial on how to set it up with Google Reader.
  3. Reflections on Student Blogging. With a focus on student in middle and high school, these tips and suggestions are from a teacher who has already been teaching student blogging.
  4. Responsible blogging. Based on a collaborative effort between a teacher and his 10th grade students, this is a list of rules they developed for safe blogging and are sharing with others.
  5. Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Online Publishers. This free class teaches bloggers and other online writers about defamation, privacy, and copyright as it pertains to online publishing.
  6. Blog Basics. Just as the title says, this article goes over the basics of what a blog is and also discusses how blogging can be used in the classroom.
  7. Blogs as Class Content. Get ideas on ways to incorporate blogs in your classes here.

Social Networking Sites

While some of these popular social networking sites are for students only, others are for anyone.

  1. Students can connect with each other as well as get information about colleges and financial aid, find top online schools, and more.
  2. learnhub. This social networking site helps students find assistance with their class assignments.
  3. Campusbug. Connected with other students while also getting access to tools and resources for studying, homework, and projects.
  4. The Quad. Students can collaborate on school projects or organize face-to-face social events on this social network.
  5. In addition to a social community, this site offers student-submitted information about professors by school or by professor’s name.
  6. IdeaWhip. Undergrads, grad students, and recent alumni entrepreneurs can connect through this social network.
  7. MySpace. One of the largest social networking sites, MySpace offers video and music sharing as well as socializing online.
  8. Ning. Create your own social network or search for existing social networks here.
  9. Facebook. One of the most popular social networking sites, Facebook was originally meant only for college students, but is now open to anyone.
  10. Loomagoo. Besides just connecting with others, students can purchase and sell text books, share notes, study guides, and more.
  11. Fast Pitch. This social network gives you a chance to network with professionals in preparation for your career after graduation.


One of the hottest social media trends right now, Twitter is a great way for student to connect with each other, keep updated on the news, and more. These tips and tools will help them know how.

  1. Twhirl. This desktop client helps manage Twitter through such helpful features as URL shortening, new message notifications, image posting, and much more.
  2. TwitPic. This popular tool lets you share photos on Twitter.
  3. Shorten URLs so that you use fewer characters when sharing web links on Twitter.
  4. QuoteURL. This tool puts different Tweets together on one page and is a great tool for summarizing a project done with Twitter.
  5. Tweetree. Put Tweets in context with this tool that groups entire conversations together.
  6. TweetDeck. This tool allows you to create groups of Tweets to help manage the information you receive through Twitter.
  7. Get to know classmates. A class Twitter group will help facilitate teachers and students getting to know each other.
  8. Collaborate on projects. Use a tool like Tweetworks to set up a group so students can work together on projects.
  9. Brainstorm. Brainstorm on assignments and class projects on Twitter where students can share ideas any time outside of class.
  10. Direct Tweet. Instructors and students can contact each other through direct Tweets without having to share cell phone numbers.
  11. Follow news stories. Students can follow news that relates to what they are studying with one of the many news feeds available on Twitter.
  12. Make announcements. Teachers can send out reminders about upcoming tests, project due dates, or any other news via Twitter.
  13. Take a poll. Take student polls on Twitter with tools such as PollDaddy.
  14. Share interesting websites. Both professors and students can post interesting websites that are relevant to their subject matter.

Getting Ready for College

From helping students prepare for online education to social networks that lend money for education, these resources offer help to students getting ready to head off to college.

  1. eLearners Advisor. This tool will help students determine if an online education is the right path to follow for their personality and situation.
  2. Six Tips for Students’ Online Success. Students can find advice for adjusting to an online learning environment after leaving a traditional classroom setting.
  3. How Students Develop Online Learning Skills. This resource offers information about how online students can enhance their learning experience.
  4. GreenNote. This social lending site is a popular alternative to student loans and connects members willing to finance loans to students at low interest rates.
  5. Lending Club. Another social lending site, this one allows borrowers to get low rates and lenders to fund borrowers they choose.
  6. Zopa. This social finance network connects members who are seeking loans with credit unions that offer low-interest rates.
  7. CommunityLend. Members can learn about each other, hear their stories, and discover their financial experience through their social connections here, then borrow and lend money.
  8. 23 Warning Signs of Scholarship Scams. Help students learn if they are applying for legitimate scholarships with the help of this article.
  9. How to Get off the College Wait List. This article offers suggestions to help students get off the wait list and get accepted into the college of their choice.
  10. Rejection tweeting. See how some students react to their college application rejections through their Tweets.

Job Hunting

Job hunting through social media is the new way to find employment. Help prepare your students by teaching them how to utilize their social media skills to find a job.

  1. A Student’s Guide to Job Hunting on the Internet. This tutorial provides sound information on how to find a job via the Internet.
  2. Using Your Blog as a Job Search Tool. Teach students how to use their blog to get noticed and find a job.
  3. HOW TO: Build the Ultimate Social Media Resume. Students can use this tool to help build a powerful online resume.
  4. Alumwire. College students and recent grads can use the free services at this site to find a job.
  5. Investigate companies, salaries, and more at this site when researching where you want to work. Students receive a free one-year membership.
  6. JobWeb. New grads can get help finding a job, opportunities to research employers, and informative articles at this site.
  7. Students and recent grads can find internship opportunities as well as jobs with this resource.
  8. MyWorkster. This site, specifically for students and new grads, links college networks with employers and also offers job listings.
  9. LinkedIn. This social networking site is an excellent place to create an online presence for students seeking to start their professional career.
  10. Ecademy. Another social networking site, this is a good place for students to network and make new connections with business professionals.
  11. Plaxo. Connect several social networking sites together through Plaxo.
  12. HOW TO: Find a Job on Twitter. Learn how students can find a job on Twitter, including several feeds they can follow.
  13. twitterjobcast. Search for jobs posted on Twitter with this tool.
  14. TweetMyJobs. This tool allows job seekers and employers to find each other through Twitter.
  15. Follow @jobhunting. This Twitter feed offers tons of information for those hunting for jobs.
  16. 50 People on Twitter Job Seekers Should Follow. Learn what Twitter feeds to follow if you are looking for a job, and read the follow-up post for even more.

Open Courseware Classes

These open courseware classes offer opportunities for both the teacher and students to learn about social media. Whether you want to take these free classes yourself or incorporate them into your lessons, they are a valuable resource.

  1. Blogs, Wikis, New Media for Learning. Utah State University offers this class about web 2.0 technology and covers such topics as blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, bookmarking tools, and podcasts.
  2. Introduction to Media Studies. Get to know the basics about new media in this class from MIT which covers topics including blogging, intellectual property, and game modification.
  3. New Media Literacies. Explore online social networking, videogames, collective intelligence, and other related subjects of media literacy in this class from MIT.
  4. Learn and Apply HTML. Learn the basics of HTML and how to use it with this class.
  5. Interactive Multimedia Production. Build a project learning to use Flash 9 with Utah State University’s online class.
  6. Technologies for Creative Learning. Using the Lego Programmable Brick and Computer Clubhouse, student explore ways new technologies can help stimulate learning and creativity.
  7. Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling. Learn about audio, video, and graphics with a focus on Internet content in this class at the News University.
  8. Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace. Practice writing for an online audience through an exploration of American pop culture in this class from MIT.
  9. Communication Skills for Academics. This class teaches how to craft well-written academic papers and other academic communications.
  10. Understanding Online Interaction. Examine the ways people communicate online and learn how to design environments on the web that are conducive to learning.
  11. Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change. This class explores the shift to digital media, especially looking at the shift in such areas as business, communication, and entertainment.

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