NCERT Recommended Social Media Apps and How to Use them for Online Teaching
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NCERT Recommended Social Media Apps and How to Use them for Online Teaching

Amid 40 days lockdown because of Covid-19 pandemic, NCERT has released an alternative academic calendar 2020 for primary school students. Apart from suggesting a four weeks study plan, the Alternative Calendar also suggests some other activities or channels including social media which can be used to promote online teaching or e-learning

NCERT says, "Given the unprecedented social distancing and home quarantines due to COVID-19, social media platforms have immense potential to contribute to teaching-learning processes. When physical access to schools and colleges are closed, we can leverage these platforms to effectively carry out academic activities in innovative ways."

However, teachers and educators are advised to inform students below 14 years of age to seek permission to share and use the gadgets (Smart Phone, iPAD, Tablet, laptop and Desktop) of their parents, grandparents and elder sibling(s) for accessing learning situations created under the guidance of elders at home.

NCERT has recommended following 12 social media apps that can be used by teachers and educators as per their convenience and provide online support to facilitate learning.

1. WhatsApp:

Using WhatsApp, we can send messages, making audio-video calls. We can also share a wide variety of media like photos, audio, video, and other documents. We can communicate one-to-one or in a group in the above mentioned ways. Up to 256 people can join a group and interact with each other. One can create any number of groups (e.g., one group for each class or subject or course) on WhatsApp.

A teacher or educator can use WhatsApp group call to organise a virtual class and post an assignment on a group. Later learners can post their completed assignment. A teacher can share the link for learning resources in a group or share a downloaded document/ own recorded voice/ a self-created document on a topic.

2. Facebook:

Facebook allows us to share or post information consisting of text, image, audio, video and other documents.

Teachers can create subject or class wise groups and share contents in various forms. In addition, they can interact with students, deliver live lectures, organise a watch party etc. Personalized feedback can also be given to learner in Facebook chat/messenger.

3. Twitter:

Teachers can use it as an effective pedagogical tool to gain information, engage students, follow interested communities, share their insights on specific topics, etc. It can enhance engagement and collaboration among peers, students and teachers. The teacher can tweet assignments, link to other resources or web pages.

4. Edmodo:

Edmodo is a free and secure online educational learning network.

Teachers can manage their classes and consolidate all of their activities in one place. Teacher can create a digital classroom space for all teachers and students to work together share ideas and resources. Edmodo’s quiz builder or poll feature can be used to assess students’ learning during or after a unit of study. Teacher can divide a class into smaller groups and have them post their work to their group for peer review and feedback.

5. Instagram:

Through Instagram, teachers can effectively engage in visual storytelling. One can use hashtags that are relevant and often searched to be discoverable. There are other features as well which teachers and students can use such as video recording up to 15 seconds, unlimited story additions, direct messaging within Stories, etc. IGTV gives users the ability to share videos that are up to an hour long – like a TV episode.

6. Telegram:

Subject groups can be created, and each group can have even 1,00,000 members. The groups can be controlled to have only one way or two way communications. It can also be used for making audio calls and video calls. Group conference calls are also an additional support that will help teachers to take online sessions and encourage interaction.

7. Blogger:

Teachers and students can create their accounts on Blogger through their Gmail accounts. Teachers can write and share blogs on difficult topics related to the subject areas they teach, for instance, Science, Mathematics, Language, etc. They can display teaching learning material on blogs by adding pictures, videos, audios, PPTs, etc.

8. Skype:

Skype provides an excellent way for teachers to introduce the world beyond the classroom to their students. Through video calling, students can connect with teachers, educators and other students for live discussions and solving their queries. We can also use Skype to explore virtual field trips, organize guest speaker sessions with two-way communication between presenter and the audience.

9. Pinterest:

It is like an online open bulletin board in which communities, teachers, students and parents can interact, share and post/ pin on a single forum. It enables posting, saving, blogging and discovery of information using images, GIFs, interactive videos, documents and blogs etc. The resources which are pinned get segregated into various categories.

10. YouTube:

Teachers, for example, can create any specific playlist containing all the videos related to the a certain topic of any subject/s. Teacher can search and share with students videos on various topic which are correct both conceptually and pedagogically. The videos can be auto-translated in local languages making them useful for everyone.

11. LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is mostly used by professionals for social networking. Companies use this platform for posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs.

12. Google Hangout:

Teacher can use hangout to live stream class from his/her home and students can join the live class from their respective homes. Smaller groups can be formed within a class for group discussion and peer learning among students, through audio or video chats.