Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Science Education

Social media and science education are not two phrases that often intersect. However, here at the Smithsonian Science Education Center we are working on digital initiatives to help provide new types of teacher resources through various social media channels. Since the SSEC's mission is to improve the learning and teaching of science for all students in the United States and throughout the world, going digital is a great way to enhance our print resources and reach more people. Social media platforms can provide teachers a multitude of resources and guides to teach various materials.

Twitter is a great resource platform. On our SSEC Twitter, we keep our followers up to date with articles on STEM initiatives, postings of interviews with Smithsonian scientists, links to our educational games, and more. If you are looking for professional development programs, Twitter is a great way to find out when the next SSEC events are taking place. Users can search Twitter for the terms "science", "education", or "STEM" or the hashtags "#EdChat", "#SciEd", "#SciChat", or "#STEM" and find plenty of Tweets focusing on science education. Simply browsing these Tweets can help educators stay up to date on the latest news and resources.

Screenshots from the SSEC Twitter account

Another great resource is Pinterest. The SSEC Pinterest is compiled of boards aimed at professional development and educational resources as well as fun information like science jokes and seasonal science related activities. Pinterest is highly visual and is very focused on high quality images, which make it a great place to find resources for students who may have an easier time learning through visual means. Also, Pinterest has different categories including an Education category and a Science and Technology category. The Education category has plenty of neat resources for teachers ranging from activities to how to decorate your classroom.

Screenshot of the SSEC's Pinterest boards

Want to give students an after-school assignment they'll enjoy? Go on YouTube and view educational videos from Smithsonian. There are many videos from Smithsonian Education and the National Museum of Natural History. The SSEC YouTube is also a great place to look for interviews with scientists and teacher tips.

Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube are just three examples of the possibilities for finding educational resources and professional development news through social media. The SSEC can also be found on Facebook, Google+, and Vimeo.

Interested in more than just science? The Smithsonian has a variety of social media accounts that regularly share useful resources that can be used in the classroom and beyond! Find them here!

What would you like to see us post? What's your favorite social media platform? Have you ever used social media for teacher resources? Let us know in the comments; we would love your feedback.

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About the Author

Nikki Schell

Nikki is a visual communications and digital media specialist who loves photography and learning about other cultures. You can see more of her work at: www.nikkischell.com.