Social Networking Tools

Social Networking Tools

‘Social media’ is the umbrella term for web-based software and services that allow users to come together online and exchange, discuss, communicate and participate in any form of social interaction.

Lesson goals and objectives

In this lesson you will learn:

  • the different platforms used in social media
  • the different approaches used to support learning using social media tools
  • how social media is increasing in popularity and use.

Social Networking tools support learning by:

  • providing cost effective (usually free) access to communication and information tools
  • helping you build a community for students to share ideas, collaborate and discuss areas of interest
  • giving students access to informational and relevant content to ‘stay in the know’
  • improving Literacy, Communication, and Reading Skills
  • supporting distance learning, whilst still feeling part of the community

So what are the most popular Social networking tools? Who uses them most and how long do users spend online?

See the charts below from, part of the Digital in 2020 Report to find out.

Online Content Activities
Share of Social Media Usage (by Gender)
The World’s Most Used Social Media Platforms
Daily Time Spent on Social Media (by Country)

Now that we know what social media is and the scale of the opportunity, how can social media be incorporated into education? This TEDx talk from Harry Dyer discusses “how the study of Social Media can help us better understand youth” and “how we can (and must) incorporate and account for social media in the classroom”.

So, what are some of the ways you could these tools in your learning delivery? Here are 12 ways to use social media in education from Sprout Social.

  • Use a Facebook Page to broadcast updates and alerts.
  • Use a Facebook Group to stream live lectures and host discussions.
  • Use Twitter as a class message board.
  • Use Instagram for photo essays.
  • Create a class blog for discussions.
  • Assign blog posts as essays.
  • Create a class-specific Pinterest board.
  • Include social media links on your school website.
  • Share school events and photos.
  • Create interest-based Facebook Groups.

On average


of Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers are active on social media

An average of

3 hrs

are spent per day per person on social networks

There are


of all social media users accessing social channels via mobile devices.