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Guide to Create Educational Content on Social Media

Picture of Steven Miller
Steven Miller
Create Educational Content on Social Media

Social media is much maligned, and mostly for good reason. It can be a source of gossip, harassment, and unrealistic expectations. However, while we focus on its negative aspects, we must not forget the benefits of these online platforms.

Educational content can also be disseminated on social media sites, and it can foster a stronger connection between teachers and students. It all depends on how it is used and the expertise of those who are using it.

Some more conservative views may try to categorize social media as a youthful distraction, but it is not. If it were, massive multinational corporations, small businesses, and everything in between would not spend so much time trying to invest in social media strategies.

If billion-dollar companies are not above leveraging these platforms, we shouldn’t be as well.

Let’s look at the process of creating educational content and how you can make it easier to spread online.

How the Content Should Look Like

Simply posting a link to a very long article or lesson may work for interested college students, but younger students will most likely ignore your post. There’s even an internet slang term for this: TLDR (too long, didn’t read).

There are two primary ways to use social media in education: to communicate with students and to design educational content or posts. In general, you have to remember a simple rule: when making social media educational content, you are not making a standalone lesson. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all.

As a teacher, you should attempt to use social media just like a corporation uses it. Try to think like a marketer, while taking into account your role as an educator. Your social media posts should inform, tease, and link to the lesson itself.

Content marketing for education is not the product; it is the packaging.

Of course, if you personally do not have a marketing-type mindset, collaborate with someone who does, or just use social media to answer questions and be easy to reach.

Social Media Educational Content Pros and Cons

Overall, “Social media educational content” is more of a catch-all term. It tries to describe the integration of social media sites, online chat and communication apps, and any other modern site in the education of students. Household names like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube are most commonly used.

But why bother with these attempts to fix what is not broken? Why should teachers take extra time to adapt to these strategies? After all, social media can divert the student’s attention from the subject, which can prove detrimental to productivity, overall hurting that student’s academic results.

Well, there’s a reason why millions of young people are using social media as the medium is extremely captivating.

If you are trying to teach someone something, you need to get their attention. More and more students are completely disengaged from their education. They see a diploma as a ticket to the middle class, and that’s it. It is not uncommon for students to just skirt by on minimal learning and turn in papers written by research paper services. This apathy needs to be combatted.

In addition to boosting engagement, social media marketing for education also has a democratizing effect. In the past, in almost every country, the separation between teachers and students was very clear.

There was a much higher degree of formality and outside of class, it was almost impossible to converse or approach a teacher.

Nowadays, you can easily leave a question for your teacher in private messaging, post questions on behalf of the entire class, and generally contact them in a more casual-ish manner.

But what is the difference between using social media messaging and simply calling your teacher to ask him questions?

Calling their phone is much more invasive, and it can be considered rude if you abuse that medium. However, with social media, the teacher can answer depending on when he is available. There is much less pressure and intrusiveness.

Practical Advice

Everything covered until now was just related to abstractions and the principles behind implementing content development in education. But let’s discuss some actual ideas of posts that can be used:

1. Tell Personal Stories

Your students can be very interesting people. Compiling short videos regarding some of their stories can show that their educators care about them. Whether it is in short video format on TikTok or simply a Tweet or a Meta Post, it will suffice.

The stories themselves do not have to be sad (although they can be). They can highlight someone overcoming adversity or changing their behavior towards academic excellence. Maybe, if you talk to your students, some of them have interesting hobbies like painting, singing, or archery.

Such posts can be the equivalent of what news agencies call “fluff pieces”.

2. Keep Everyone in the Loop

Social media in the classroom should be seen as an evolution, not a revolution.

The internet did not invent the concept of updating people. As a species, we’ve been verbally communicating for thousands of years, so we’re pretty good at it.  However, social media posts allow us to do that instantly.

Did the school team just win the game? Was a comet discovered by Nasa a few hours ago? Or is school canceled because of a heavy rainstorm?

You can post anything that is related to your school, your subject, or your collective of faculty or students. Nothing revolutionary here, it’s just faster if you do it online.

3. Use other People’s Work

As an educational content creator, you have to know your limits in regard to how much time you can afford to spend on social media. The really good posts can take time to think up, and really well-made videos can also eat away at your time.

As a result, do not be afraid to link to other people’s work. For example, YouTube has an entire mini industry of educational channels, and each of these videos is extremely well-made. Some have outstanding graphics, scripting, and anything you can expect from a well-made documentary.

Also, the length is variable. As a test, I searched for an educational video on the planet Jupiter. It found a YouTube video that was short of only a few seconds, a ten-minute video, and an hour + video. There is a variety that caters to all attention spans.

However, when you link to someone else’s work, make sure that channel is entirely suited to be seen by your class. You don’t want to accidentally endorse a content creator that should not be seen in school.

Conclusion

As mentioned, social media will never replace proper schooling and teaching. Functionally, it can accomplish two main goals: social media marketing for education and facilitating communication and engagement between students and teachers.

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