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Sparking Engagement- Translating and Integrating Social Media Into the Literacy Environment

The integration of social media, digital literacy, and its elements into the literacy classroom environment is a pairing that is necessary to keep students engaged in order to see the relevance of the skills in which they are learning. Students spend hours taking in popular culture and communicating their perspectives and ideas with the world while taking part in social media, but fail to see that they are learning and using similar skills when they are in the classroom. This chapter will demonstrate how educators can engage students with the skills they develop outside of the classroom, and apply those skills in lessons, tasks, and the classroom environment.

Session Title: “Sparking Engagement- Translating and Integrating Social Media Into the Literacy Environment”

Presented at the following conferences: ALER 2021

Topics/Research Interests: Literacy, Literacy Engagement, Digital literacies, Multimodal Learning

Chapter Information: Dr. Childs’ chapter, “Sparking Engagement: Translating and Integrating Social Media Into the Literacy Environment” from the book: Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings

*For access to the accompanying slideshow, please email Dr. Childs at kchilds@drkchilds.com

INTRODUCTION

Now, more than ever, technology guides today’s students through their everyday world. Even more so, social media serves as a place for them to explore through a social lens when interacting, posting photos, and playing games. Educators could engage students with the skills they develop outside of the classroom in the digital world and apply those skills in lessons and tasks in the classroom environment. Using the connection of academic language and the “language” within the digital realm, teaching practices can be modified to improve the performance and engagement of students. Implementing social media in the classroom does not necessarily mean that an educator creates and uses a specific platform for com- munication or socialization with the students, but instead begins integrating the terms, features, and communication tasks within social media to teach traditional literacy skills in English Language Arts/ English Language Arts and Reading (ELA/ELAR) classroom settings and lessons.

Sparking Engagement

This chapter will seek to:

  • Promote and explain how popular culture has an impact on the literacy classroom.
  • Give educators new techniques to integrate social media and the teaching of literacy skills.
  • Encourage educators to promote a classroom culture that uses various modalities to engage their students.
  • Provide examples of how to engage and empower students in various grade levels with elements of social media and popular culture. The main purpose and focus of this chapter is about recognizing that students are already exposed to language skills and literacy skills that are taught in their everyday lives when they interact with digital tools. It is about the language used and culture that is built in a classroom to reach students. It is about the connection of traditional learning and digital learning. This chapter is not about using social media and its associated apps in the classroom in isolation. This is not a “how to” on using social media to plan lessons. It is about integrating concepts and making connections to use as teaching strategies. This chapter does not exist simply to tell educators to use social media while teaching. It was written to demonstrate that social media’s frameworks, purpose, and missions, align with literacy skills that are taught in classrooms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hashtag: A symbol that is the pound sign that signifies a category in which the content is categorized under. The symbol is often used on social media to better find topics or areas of interest.

APP: Short for the word “application.” An app is a technology program that is meant to perform a certain function, convenience, or service to a consumer or user.

Five Pillars of Literacy: Comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, phonics, and phonemic awareness.

Emoji: A pictorial symbol used in texting and apps to represent emotions, moods, and adjectives.

Literacy: Reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills that are pooled together to help a person communicate, interact, and comprehend.

Social media: Internet websites or smartphone/tablet applications that are created with various purposes for an intended audience (interaction, platform for creating and sharing art, music, writing, expression).

Popular Culture: Elements such as music, media, fashion, sports, and social movements within the society or environment that influence and engage a major population or demographic of people.

Traditional Academic Language: Language skills and vocabulary that are normally presented in the classroom that are a part of a curriculum that are used when referring to teach a particular subject area.

Social Learning: Experiences that take place with students outside of the classroom in which they learn from their interactions within the culture that surrounds them (social media, environment, popular culture).

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4721-2.ch014
Copyright © 2021, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

RESOURCES

-Purchase Dr. Childs’ chapter, “Sparking Engagement: Translating and Integrating Social Media Into the Literacy Environment” from the book: Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings or download a FREE sample: https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/sparking-engagement/265065

-More information about the book, Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings: https://www.igi-global.com/book/disciplinary-literacy-connections-popular-culture/244552

Childs, K. (2021). Sparking Engagement: Translating and Integrating Social Media Into the Literacy Environment. In L. Haas, & J. Tussey (Eds.), Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings (pp. 292-312). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-4721-2.ch014

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