TikTok tiptoeing into the classroomTuesday, September 14, 2021
TikTok makes for a great instructional tool that should be introduced into the Jamaican classroom, especially the virtual one.
TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. This social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos on a range of topics. The videos have a duration of 15 seconds to three minutes.
According to Loop news, TikTok has seen an increase in downloads since the novel coronavirus pandemic. I am reluctant to admit it but TikTok may even be one of, if not, the most addictive and entertaining social media platforms.
TikTok could be the next step in “edutainment” and used in a variety of ways to make learning interesting and exciting, particularly in the online learning environment; for example, the social media tool can be used to create short recap videos after long lessons. Teachers could then provide a link to a YouTube channel or even a website where certain concepts are explained in more depth.
According to Luke Edwards in his 2021 article entitled 'How can TikTok be used in the classroom?', “Teachers can also use TikTok to create short videos on specific subjects that students can watch. This is great for explaining lesson concepts. Not only does it mean a short and to the point video, but one that can be watched multiple times so students are able to revisit the guidance when working on the task.”
Furthermore, TikTok can provide a unique opportunity to humanise educators and provide deeper connection with students and families. We may see some of our more creative and tech-savvy students bloom into rising stars, aware of the importance of time management and respect for various opinions. Students can even create their own trends and hashtags that could link them to an even greater pool of learners, regionally and globally. Posted content can be limited to selected individuals or, in the case of the classroom, students and teachers only.
As with any social media tool there are concerns, especially as it relates to privacy and the potential for bullying. Gladly, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of these occurrences.
However, in a country where professionalism and teachers' private lives are “sensitive” topics with varying standards based on several factors and expectations – “puss and dog nu av di same luck.”
If anyone decides to introduce this app into the classroom, it needs to be done with caution.
Personally, I look forward to giving it a try.
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