My oldest child recently started high school, and I've been amazed by the use of social media techniques in the classroom. The teachers have really embraced some aspects of this and incorporate it nicely into the classroom. However, she has one teacher in particular that has impressed me in this area.

I knew I would like him when I attended the open house night. As parents took their seats, we were handed an informational sheet about his classroom, along with his contact information and other pertinent "need to know" items.

What I immediately noticed was that, next to his email address and the parent access site's URL, he provided a QR code that links to the information.

While many parents weren't familiar with QR codes, he took a moment to explain how they work and went on to say that he did this because he knows parents are busy and he thought that scanning a QR code to send an email would be more efficient.

As he explained how his classroom was run, I was intrigued by his methodology, which I later learned was referred to as 'flipping' the classroom.

Traditionally, teachers spend class time lecturing and then assigning homework to be turned in the following day.

This teacher does it quite the opposite. He has a YouTube channel dedicated to his class, and students are assigned to listen to a lecture (or screen cast, as he calls it), and then the following day in class he will give the "homework", allowing students to do it during class.

He also gives pop quizzes on the screen cast from the night before to ensure students are watching. He uses class time to answer questions, offer clarification on points students are having difficulty with, and so forth.

At first I wasn't so sure about this "new" methodology, but as the quarter has progressed both me and my daughter have come to love it.

First, it gives her time to pause the lecture to take notes more efficiently, rewind parts she doesn't understand, and make a list of questions to ask the teacher the following day. She also saw the value in this right before the first big exam - she was able to re-listen to any of the screen casts that she needed to, at her convenience and pace.

Second, they're also dedicated an area of the website where a chat session opens up the night before a big exam so students can ask questions, help each other, and offer support if they choose to. When I peeked in the chat session the night before my daughter's first exam, I noted that it was quite active, with many students involved.

I love all things social media, and now I am seeing the effects of it in the school environment.

Teachers are finding new and unique ways to incorporate social media elements into the learning process, and for children who have grown up with technology, I think it is largely beneficial. My youngest is nine years old - I will be interested to see what his high school experience will look like.

Even though it's only five years away, I think it will look quite different from my oldest child's.

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