Advances in technology allow nearly everyone to carry an endless source of information in the palm of your hand in the form of smartphones. Thus it is important for you to make use of this technology to create an interactive learning environment that will better capture the interests of your students. Luckily, whether you are teaching middle school, high school or even undergraduate and graduate programs, Foursquare make this easy to accomplish. With it’s easy to use interface and ability to track the locations of students nearly anywhere, Foursquare allows you teach lessons in history, geography and can even help manage your classroom.
Some colleges use Foursquare to help students find local historic information. For instance, the archaeology department at Michigan State University, uses the app to mark specific historical buildings and other markers on or around the campus. This approach to learning can easily be implemented into your classroom, allowing students to learn more about the history of the campus or for campus orientation. As a student checks in to various locations on campus, Foursquare provides historical pictures and other information about the student’s exact location. Thus to create an assignment, request students to gather one piece of information from a list of specific sites around campus. This will acclimate new students to the campus and help returning students learn more about their surroundings.
As Foursquare records your location to let your friends know where you are when you check in, it makes a good tool to teach students about geography. Split your students up into groups or send students off individually to explore a restaurant in town. Each student or group of students must check in at the restaurant, and then learn everything they can about the establishment so they can share with the class. The next day your students present their findings and can mark the restaurants on a map using Foursquare so everyone in the class can see where their classmates went, and where each place is in relation to their school, homes, etc. Not only will this project help students locate specific businesses, but it can also help with teamwork, research skills and public speaking.
To encourage your students to find new places, set up a scavenger hunt for your class that involves checking in at multiple locations around the area. Each student must check in at each location using Foursquare to track their progress and take a picture of the desired object to show in class. Encourage your students to complete the tasks as quickly as possible. You can use the Foursquare check-in times to determine who is the winner.
Some teachers prefer to take attendance the old-fashioned way by calling each student’s name and marking them present or absent based on the response. However, Foursquare can be used in the classroom to help you track attendance in your class without going through the lengthy process of calling each student’s name and making a mark in your book. Requiring your students to check in to class each day will provide you with an easy way to see who is present and who isn’t. As Foursquare marks your present location, a student can’t alter the results to make it appear they are in class when they aren’t.
No matter how you use Foursquare in the classroom, it can serve as a useful tool to help you teach your students. Whether you implement its functionality into class projects to learn history or geography or use it to take attendance, the advances in social media technology can work to your advantage, especially since most students carry cell phones. Most students already use these social media tools, so using them in the classroom is a great way to encourage them to learn.