Are your students bored in your classroom this summer? Will you stick to your same old lesson plans?
College instructors have an opportunity to take advantage of the excitement over the next few weeks.
The Olympics games will officially begin this month. The 2012 Olympics begin Friday, July 27, and conclude Sunday, Aug. 12. How can college instructors capitalize on the new social media tools to increase student engagement and improve retention during summer semester classes? One way is to involve students in the Olympics.
There will be opportunities as never before imagined to engage students in the Olympics in London through the use of powerful social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Some people are referring to the games as the “Socialympics.”
While social media has been around for several past Olympics, the amount of people on social media has grown exponentially making it vastly bigger in scale and magnitude. Facebook had only 100 million users during the Beijing Games 4 years ago compared with 900 million users today. Twitter has grown from 6 million to 150 million.
Time reports that the IOC is planning life chats with athletes from the Olympic village allowing students the opportunity to pose questions using social media.
We are at a dawn of a new age of sharing and connecting, and London 2012 will ignite the first conversational Olympic Games, thanks to social media platforms and technology
Alex Huot, the IOC’s head of social media,
4 Examples for adapting your lesson plans to create excitement around social media and the Olympics.
- Have students share articles highlighting their favorite Olympic sports in Google+ or Facebook. Google+ is well-suited for sharing photos of the Olympics. Students add value to the photos by writing their own description. Students can comment on the posts of other students or reshare the posts of others.
- YouTube is an excellent resource for viewing and sharing videos. Videos of the triumphs and struggles of the Olympic athletes can lead into a discussion on many topics such as goal setting, work ethic, and time management skills. Others topics of discussion might be eating disorders, aging, and balance.
- Google Hangouts are a way to connect up to 10 students at a time. Hangouts are very easy to learn. You only need an inexpensive webcam and microphone to connect to your computer. Hangouts can be used on the phone or iPad as well by downloading an app. Students can share interesting videos about the Olympics and they can share their reactions with each other.
- Twitter is used the most by people following the Olympics. Students can practice writing skills be highlighting informative articles in 140 characters or less. Students can then attach an article to the tweet providing more information and engagement.
The official motto of the Olympics is swifter, higher, stronger.
Why not use this motto to motivate your students to develop the skills to achieve in their chosen career?
Students become bored with college during the summer months and wish they were taking off the summer like many of their friends. Engage your students by adding some excitement to your lesson plans.
You may also be interested in reading:
What You Can Learn from Olympic Athletes (EMILY MAIN)
10 Questions for Dara Torres (Alice Park)