Educating Digital Natives

enhancing teaching and learning with social media

Are your students equipped to critically process:

  • the 24-7 streaming news cycle?
  • the content produced & distributed by citizen journalists?
  • the impact of media ownership on the information they receive?
  • the impact of filter bubbles & echo chambers on their social media feeds?

Use the tools, lessons, and strategies outlined on this site to teach your students to critically read media in all its forms and help them to develop savvy, active, productive habits of learning and civic participation.

Getting Started:

1. Check out the recommended lesson ideas.

Ideas and resources are added regularly. We gladly accept and credit submissions if you would like to add your classroom-tested suggestions.

2. Join the Mediated Messages Facebook group.

This group is closed to the general public. It is dedicated to educators interested in growing their own social media savvy and use social media with their students as a teaching, learning, and assessment tool. You can request to be added in order to ask questions of other educators and share your ideas.

3. Create a class think tank.

  • Choose a social media platform that will work for the group's members; I recommend starting with a closed group on Facebook.
  • Invite members of your class to join - everything is voluntary and nothing is graded!
  • Encourage think tank members to post to the group at least once each week. Students might: share reflections about what you are doing in class, post items from their social media feeds that remind them of class issues or topics, or create their own media (memes are fun!) in response to class discussion.

Ideas for teaching with Think Tanks.

An Index of current Think Tanks.

All think tanks are indexed here.

Tweet @MsJWhiting or email jackie @ to have your think tank added to this site.

When your online community takes off, consider scaling it UP!

  • begin asking students to post to the community and use your hashtag during class (see ideas posted on the Think Visibly page).
  • reach out to other teachers, students, content or skill experts who also use your online community and invite them to interact with your class (see the Build a PLN page for suggestions).