Top Pick

Social Networks for Students and Teachers

Social media and social networks, from Facebook to Snapchat to Twitter and beyond, are an increasingly important part of how we communicate and connect day to day. They're key for staying in touch and up-to-date as well as contributing to our world and being creative. Many teachers find social networking a great way to expand their PLNs and to discover resources. Just about all students rely on social media of some kind as a part of their daily routines. So how do you bring social media and social networks into the classroom? And how do you decide what will work for you and/or your students? Here's a collection of the best and most interesting social networks and social media apps and websites we've looked at to help you decide.

For Students

twiducate Visit Website: http://www.twiducate.com/
Safe social network for classroom communication somewhat limited
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
The Wonderment Visit Website: https://thewonderment.com/
Ambitious global community aims for public good through student engagement
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
DIY Visit Website: http://www.diy.org
Design, build, and share new things offline and online
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Edublogs Visit Website: https://edublogs.org/
Customizable classroom blogs get students writing and collaborating
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Project Noah Visit Website: http://www.projectnoah.org/
Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
LitPick Visit Website: http://www.litpick.com
Tweens' reviews of YA literature great for classroom use
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Youth Voices Visit Website: https://www.youthvoices.live/
Vibrant online community hosts authentic student writing
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Figment Visit Website: http://www.figment.com
Active teen writing community offers valuable, authentic feedback
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Teen Ink Visit Website: http://www.teenink.com
Get kids writing, publishing, critiquing in this valuable network
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
My Experiment Visit Website: http://www.myexperiment.org/
Collaborative scientific social network best for advanced HS students
Grades 11-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated

For Students and Teachers

Skype Visit Website: http://www.skype.com
Live video communication has potential to open lots of doors
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Google Hangouts Visit Website: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/
Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Learnist
This product is no longer available.
Visit Website: http://learni.st/category/featured
Locate, curate, and share multimedia content on tidy little boards
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Celly Visit Website: http://www.cel.ly
Private group-texting tool has some potential for classroom use
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Diigo Visit Website: https://www.diigo.com
Social bookmarking encourages discovery, collaboration, and sharing
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
The Harry Potter Alliance Visit Website: http://www.thehpalliance.org
Fan site promotes real-world heroics with activism for social justice
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Periscope Publisher: Twitter, Inc.
Instant-broadcasting tool is iffy for kids, might be boon for teachers
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Storify Visit Website: http://storify.com/
Storytelling with Web content teaches critical curation
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
LinkedIn Visit Website: http://www.linkedin.com
Great for some college-bound kids; too much pressure for others
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Pinterest Publisher: Pinterest
Visually appealing, endlessly creative gallery of images and ideas
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Chrome, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps, Fire phone
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Twitter Visit Website: http://www.twitter.com
Smart classroom tool if used with care; priceless for PD
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Instagram Publisher: Instagram, Inc.
Stellar photo app promotes sharing, creativity but has risks
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Snapchat Publisher: Snap, Inc.
Playful, social, and creative social network requires thoughtful use
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated