Week 7: Social media learning resources

The Science Forum


This is a general forum that is open to anyone’s input. User are very active and come from all walks of life. Although my students wouldn’t be able to create their own boards, they could create their own thread and get an input of information from all over the world. According to NETS-T 3 (b), it would be a great tool for students to collaborate with one another, as well as provide an opportunity for instructors to assist. This also provides a good chance to exercise NETS-T 4 (c): by participating in the forum discussions, you can promote responsible social interaction in the online environment.

Open WetWare


I love OpenWetWare, it was a great find when I was an undergraduate Biology student. This is a wiki platform for lab protocols; it is updated with the best and newest lab practices. It boasts an impressive list of links to online tools that are specific to the Biological field (such as calculators and analysis tools). Academic labs and groups are welcome to join in. This website covers many NETS standards. It is a good one for NETS-T 2(a-c) as it encourages the creation and sharing of your own lab work. It is also a good example of NETS-T 5 (a), because Open Wetware acts as a global learning community for exploring different applications of learning.

Open Leaf


This is a student-only networking resource for educational purposes. It only launched earlier this year. The neat thing about this site  is the way that networks are setup: you can talk to people on your own campus (I am the only student from WOU so far!), people with the same major and minor, or people sharing the same courses. This allows students to fulfill the entirety of NETS-S 2 by giving them a chance to interact and collaborate with students from multiple campuses and disciplines. It also covers NETS-T 1 (c), as this promotes collaborative learning.

Biology Beta


Another question and answer site specifically for Biology that is open to everyone. The cool thing about this site is that you can vote on questions and comments depending on their level of contribution to each discussion thread, so the good content ends up at the very top. Plus, discussion posts are easy to find with tags. This resource covers NETS-T 3 (c), since an instructor can answer questions and communicate with various students. That also carries over to NETS-T 5 (a), as it is a global digital resource for both students and teachers.

Reddit – r/science, r/askscience, r/biology, r/microbiology, or make your own subreddit!


These are subsections of the popular social site reddit. Similar to the previous resource, users vote on the best content, so that the important comments rise to the top.  The community in the science subreddits is amazing; you can ask any question and an expert is almost guaranteed to give you a thoughtful reply. Plus, students can make their own subreddits! I would love to have this in my classroom. This is a good site for NETS-T 1 (c), since it is another place for students to collaborate ideas. It also covers NETS-T 2 (d), because teachers can used the information amassed there to find better explanations for lesson concepts (I know I have!)

Blogging platforms – WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc.


There are several online websites that allow you to sign up for a free blog; these are just a few of them. Having your students start a blog advocates creativeness and inventiveness, thus covering NETS-T 1 (a) and NETS-S 1 (b). This also works for NETS-T 1 (c), as it promotes self reflection and student collaboration through post replies.

Collaborize classroom


This website can help instructors build an online class or supplement a traditional class. The website provides tools for adding and sharing teaching resources, setting up conversations, and gathering data on the class, which satisfies NETS-T 2 (d). It also covers NETS-T 2 (a) as you can design an entire course here, and NETS-T 5 (b) as it spearheads the usage of an online environment for learning.



This social networking site is the facebook of education. Students get a secure place to collaborate, share content and form a community. Teachers get almost all the functionality of Moodle (posting grades, assignments, quizzes, polls, discussions, creating subgroups, etc.). This is a good site for NETS-T, as educators can collaborate in building knowledge with their students and colleagues. They can also moderate the discussions in Edmodo, which can cover NETS-T 4 (a) and (c) by promoting ethical use of data and proper etiquette in discussions.



Twitter is a networking site for sharing content in 140 characters or less. Experimenting with in-class use of twitter has encouraged students that usually would not have joined in to participate, which covers NETS-T 1 (c).  The use of a modern social tool via computer or phone to share and gather student information covers the NETS-T 3(d).

Google +


Everyone uses google. Our WOU email is based on gmail. In Google +, you can share information and images like in twitter, but you can also join in group voice and video chat, or Google Hangouts for synchronous online sessions! This is a great example of NETS-T 3(c) and 1 (c), as you can set up video hangouts to exchange information. Google+ can be used to coordinate group projects quite effectively, makes it an excellent tool that covers NETS-S 2 (d).


About Lily F.M.

Graduate student trying to learn as much as I can!

One response to “Week 7: Social media learning resources

  1. You describe OpenLeaf as a student-only social network. What are some additional benefits of not having faculty in a social network? How can students help each other in ways that faculty cannot? Do you think more faculty should encourage use of student-only networks and resources?

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