Social Media as an Educational tool: a challenge for today and an open eye on the future.

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The widespread of Social media, and their constant presence in everyday life, is unequivocally opening the door to multiple challenges.

 logo.jpgSocial media, digital tools and technology itself, are a relevant part of our lives.

People are aware of the opportunities as well as the challenges and risks related to Social media, because it is like being under the spotlight 24/7.

Teaching is a dynamic process and it must consider the changes in society together with the new habits and routines, and, of course, Social Media are now a daily routine. 

While years ago you could see people turning the pages of a magazine or a newspaper, now have a look while on the bus or the underground: people immersed into the screens of mobiles and students talking about the latest TikTok challenge or the “influencer of the day”.

And what if Education could make advantage of this all? 

Platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram and more provide open access to online information and communication, so what if schools could make advantage of these opportunities?

What could be the challenges, the opportunities and the risks?

Considering that social media are an integral part of our daily lives, integrating these tools in Education would be an excellent choice for different reasons: students would feel more comfortable with this new process, so it could be a natural process in changing times. 

Moreover, social media provide a smoother and more direct communication between students, teachers and families.

Not to mention that social media offer a wide range of e-learning and shared best practices to be used and reused in the classroom (may this be in presence or in distance learning).

Furthermore, learning how to use Social Media for an educational purpose, may help students to know them better and so to avoid the risks of the web.

There are many social media tools for education that could be taken advantage of for students of all ages, from primary school to university.

Let’s have a tour of the different social media so to understand their better involvement in education.


Smoother and direct, twitter may be used as a great discussion board for the class.

Teachers may decide wether to open a single Twitter handle per class and reuse every year or they can open a new handle every year.

Teachers can Tweet to remind an assignment or to motivate students with inspirational quotes. It is also possible to start a discussion about a specific topic with related #hashtags and students can write their replies and comments under the post.


Facebook Page: We can have the Facebook Page of the School Institution, where the Headteacher and his/her staff may update news about the school, the school curricula, special days and events, and links to parents’ associations and more. We can also have a Facebook page for the single class or subject where the teacher(s) can post updates. 

It could be a way to be in touch also during school break.

Facebook Group: Linked to the specific FB page. Each teacher could post updates or assignments, encourage discussion, upload files and go live or stream FB live lectures. 

Teachers can host discussions and organize online courses.

Facebook Messenger: related to the specific Facebook Page. Teacher may use this to hurry on late assignments or to give a private feedback.


Teachers can open a YT channel where they can upload video recordings of their lessons and create a specific playlist for each class or subject. It is not mandatory for students to have an account, because teachers may decide to give them the link to the channel.


This platform may be used for digital storytelling.

Students may present a series of photos or graphics/infographics and use specific #hashtags as well. 


There are different platforms where teachers can create a classroom blog. 

This could be a help to enhance writing skills for students, too.

Furthermore, the course syllabus or school curricula may be embedded and shared on the blog, besides assignments, resources, updates, and links to other useful websites and resources.

Some platforms are: WordPress, Wix, Blogger, Tumblr.


The quickest way to get in touch with instant messaging. 

Teachers can create specific groups and send the same message to all the students in a group.


The complete Google Pack for Education, with shareable documents and modules, Classroom, Calendar, Meet, YouTube and more…

Social media may support education in different ways.

The first pro is about communication. 

When you think about ‘Social media’, the first thing that comes to your mind is ‘communication’. Indeed, a student can connect with anyone everywhere in time (via instant messaging, see WhatsApp, Telegram, FB Messenger, Meet…) and make phone/video calls or go live with a video.

Moreover, Social Media promote learning: from dedicated sites to shared and shareable documents. It is possible to find concrete information online thanks to specific websites so that students may have access to information about a topic or they may be kept in the loop. 

Indeed, Social Media help families stay involved in their children’s learning, as well as in school’s updates and events.

A specific social network may be opened for parents and families, too, for a quick communication and to promote updates or particular updates (as seminars for parents).

Social Media are inclusive, too. Students who are afraid to be weaker (e.g. in writing) may find themselves more comfortable with an Online platform, which seems less tiring or boring than a standard assignment.

Not only, there are many distance learning opportunities offered by social media and online interaction, too.

Therefore, it can be said, past a doubt, that social media can really support education and help students to avoid the risk of the net, because they will start using it - and they will not be used by it. 

Changing times must not be a cause for fear: we have to know that our students are living in a digital world where social media are a constant presence.

What we, as educators, have to do is to teach our students to make advantages of all the many opportunities offered by Social Media in a curious and constructive way.

Because we are living the first step of our future, and we have to be keep up with change.

Again: teaching is a dynamic process and we must not stop what is dynamic, we cannot stop change.

Angela Panzarella (02/08/1978), laureata in lingue e letterature straniere moderne (inglese e serbocroato) con indirizzo filologico letterario, un’ulteriore laurea in lettere (storia delle tradizioni popolari) presso La Sapienza di Roma, master in traduzione, abilitazione SSIS (A345/A346), master CeCLIL (Ca’ Foscari) e Metodologie CLIL nel XXI secolo (IUL Firenze), benemerenza in Filologia (Philology Sila Trophy, per il saggio “As You Like Her…”), expertise in bilingual education since primary years, dopo anni di docenza nella scuola secondaria di secondo grado, insegna inglese nella scuola primaria per la sperimentazione e il proseguimento dell’esperienza bilingue (IBI-BEI, istruzione bilingue, bilingual education, CLIL & technoCLIL) nella provincia di Milano. E’ formatrice riconosciuta dall’USR Lombardia (per corsi linguistici e metodologici CLIL, technoCLIL e webtools per la didattica) e certificatrice Cambridge Young Learners (International House) ed ESOL (Cambridge, International House, English Speaking Board). Referente per l’Internazionalizzazione, è anche esperta eTwinning, Erasmus+ ed Europrogettazione, con partecipazione a seminari multilaterali in Italia, Europa e Paesi del Mediterraneo. Attiva con pubblicazioni anche su Scientix e per Stem Discovery Week. Ha scritto per i suoi “gnomi” (come si diverte a chiamarli, e per i quali è Miss Angela), la collana completa di testi per la didattica bilingue 100% CLIL e technoCLIL per la scuola primaria. Last but not least, è una bassista con esperienze musicali in ambito nazionale e internazionale.



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