Teachers use Twitter, Facebook to reach students

Students chat with each other on the Facebook group.

David Graham and Matt Webel team teach the advanced placement world studies class at Rock Bridge High School

And these teachers have a special tool up their sleeves, actually two of them: Facbook and Twitter, which surprised some students.

"Me and my friends use Twitter and we follow bands and stuff," student Nelly Poehlman said. "And then they mentioned it in class, and I'm like, 'What? Teachers know about Twitter?'"

Graham and Webel set up a Facebook group and a Twitter account this school year.

They use it to update homework assignments and remind their nearly 90 students of upcoming tests and due dates.

"There are different ways to learn and if we, as teachers, can tap into those ways, those different avenues that kids are more familiar with, then I think we can cast our net a little bit wider," Webel said.

Its also a useful way to contact kids out of class.

When winter weather cancelled school, the teachers went online and took advantage of their new tools.

"Whenever we had a couple snow days we weren't sure what to do for work," Poehlman said. "But they sent out a tweet and were like, ok, you have to read this and do this and it was really helpful."

Webel and Graham said their students have even used the Facebook group to form their own study groups.

Webel said social networks can even create better relationships between teachers and students.

"I really have found that the Internet has become a tool or resource that allows kids to be a little more open with me as a teacher than they maybe would have been in class," Webel said.

Both Webel and Graham said they will continue "tweeting" into the future, reaching more and more students.

How you and your friends and family use the social networks to stay in touch? Leave a comment below