Can TikTok Be a Helpful Tool in the Classroom?

Fun English lesson and video streaming. Laughing millennial african american lady stands near whiteboard with rules and looks at camera on smartphone, talking with students online remotely, copy spaceLike it or hate it, social media is here to stay. And the latest video-based platform, TikTok is all the craze for many of your students. As of writing this article in January 2022, TikTok had 1 billion users worldwide with TikTok’s Gen Z penetration (born between 1997-2012) one of the highest user groups in America, “with 37.3% using the social media platform at least once per month” (Dean, 2022).

Many educators may be concerned about TikTok and other platforms being a distraction and waste of time for students. However, many educators have decided to lean into social media to facilitate lessons and connect with students. And some teachers have found creative ways to reach students and promote learning using TikTok. From short micro lessons to brain breaks, here are some ways teachers are using the platform for good.

TikTok-Based Assignments

Some teachers have begun to develop lesson plans that directly involve social media, like TikTok. For these assignments, videos and posts are uploaded to private, closed groups that only classmates can access. The students use the platform to create content that will help them and their peers learn.

Instead of the traditional projects, like essays and reports, students are tasked with creating video content to share with the class. They might use video to sum up what they’ve learned about a subject or summarize a book they were assigned.

Reinforce Concepts and Ideas

Teachers are using TikTok to create content to help better explain complex or in-depth subjects. The platform gives students access to the most important information in a condensed, easy-to-understand manner. Additionally, students can return to the video to help them review and retain the information.

TikTok can also help educators distribute assignment instructions. Teachers can detail the steps of a project or assignment in a video and send it out to their students. Then, when the class is working on the assignment, they can return to the instruction video whenever they need to. This helps the students who may be shy about asking questions and will keep teachers from repeating the same instructions over and over.

Just for Fun

Teachers are also using TikTok as a way to have some fun and reach their students on a more personal level. For example, many teachers are joining in on the fun by posting themselves conquering dances, jumping into the pool, or cheering on a local sports team. TikTok can be a terrific way to show your students that you are human too!

Relax and Energize

Physical education teachers are using TikTok to post short exercise videos, such as jump roping, how-to plank or burpee, yoga poses, stretching techniques, or short high-intensity interval workouts. Other teachers are using the platform to share mindfulness exercises, brain breaks, and breathing techniques to calm the nervous system. Overall, it’s a great way to recharge and re-energize your students in a format they’re familiar with and enjoy using.

Don’t Forget to Discuss Privacy

As you know, everything you post on the internet can be seen by just about anyone. Utilizing platforms like TikTok and other social media in the classroom gives you a perfect opportunity to talk about the dangers of these apps. You should also take the extra steps to get permission from your class’s parents before moving forward with any TikTok-related assignments.

Want to see some of our favorite accounts?

Check out our article: Our Top Ten TikTok Teachers

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Sources
Dean, B. (2022, January 5). Tiktok User Statistics (2022). Backlinko. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://backlinko.com/tiktok-users

Rroderick. (2020, February 11). How teachers and students are using TikTok in the classroom. Learning Liftoff. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.learningliftoff.com/tiktok-in-the-classroom/#:~:text=%20How%20Teachers%20and%20Students%20Are%20Using%20TikTok,Media.%20Some%20parents%20and%20teachers%20are…%20More%20

Tutt, P. (2021, March 19). From headache to helpful-teachers on using TikTok in the classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/headache-helpful-teachers-using-tiktok-classroom

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