TikTok’s usefulness for learning is likely to be determined by your grade level and subject matter, as well as your personal philosophy.
Teaching with video games, teaching with hip-hop may be ‘controversial,’ but so is teaching with what appears to be a superficial, digital distraction.
But, when broken down into its components (video, social interactions, scalable digital media) and effects (many students love it), it’s not such a far-fetched idea. Fast Company has even dubbed it the “future of education.” Even if that turns out to be significant exaggeration, the lessons of video and social interactions, as well as digital media, are difficult to dismiss as part of that future.
Using Tiktok for Educational Activities
Furthermore, whenever I bring up an app that isn’t COPPA compliant, district-filtered, or’standards-based,’ it crashes. I receive criticism for using it for learning and for being ‘unsafe’ for children. Obviously, safety, privacy, and data concerns are always valid—whether students use TikTok or anything else inside and outside of the classroom. It is (of course) up to each teacher to determine what is best for their students in their specific contexts.
This entails being aware of laws, school and district policies, student and parent concerns, and a slew of other factors. This is part of what makes teaching difficult, particularly when it comes to teaching for and through innovation. Each of the following ideas has numerous implied and important caveats and conditions for it to be used effectively for learning. However, it is not as difficult as it appears for most teachers to overcome these obstacles and implement this app (and many others) in their classroom.
So here are some ways to incorporate TikTok into your classroom (or for homeschooling as well).
@Iamthatenglishteacher, for example, uses it to teach grammar and has millions of followers.
It could also be used as a quick review of each day’s lesson for absent students or at home review.
TikTok Can Be Used For Good
TikTok for Good aims to “inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them,” according to their support page. Check out some of the organizations that have used TikTok to expand their audience, engage supporters, and raise awareness about specific causes.
Investigate Specific Topics
Students can scroll specific topics under ‘Discover’ by using hashtags. You could also create your own hashtag and curate your own collection for ‘quality control.’
Allow students to create their own channel.
Having students create a “channel” and create content for it is probably my second favorite idea here (these aren’t listed in any particular order). Choose a topic for them, with them, or have them pitch ideas to you, decide on a basic format for the video, evaluate the quality of what they create at first, and make adjustments as you go.
They could even simply summarize key takeaways from your classroom each day in video format or respond to exit slips.
For Project-Based Learning, Use TikTok
Classrooms with video and project-based learning may be a match made in pedagogical heaven—or at least #edtech heaven.
TikTok platforms can assist students in identifying project ideas, collaborating during the learning process, documenting that process, or curating and sharing any products or results of their project.
PBL, as a philosophy, promotes real-world skills, including technological competency in this digital age. Video has the potential to take center stage in today’s classroom by assisting students in documenting, analyzing, and presenting what they have learned, just as they would in an office someday.