Social Media in the Classroom

    Seminary and Institute Students to Sweep the Earth as with a Flood

    When students use social media to share their testimonies of principles taught in seminary and institute, they strengthen others’ faith as well as their own.

    Rebekah, an institute student in Utah, shared the following experience of sharing simple and sincere testimony on social media. For her Elevate Learning Experience, Rebekah posted weekly about what she was learning in class. Each post included a beautiful picture and a succinct thought related to her learning. One of her posts relates the following insight: “We can never understand who we are until we understand whose we are, and when we understand that, everything changes. I know that we are all children of Heavenly Father, who loves us more than we can comprehend. As I have started my college experience I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father more than ever! ‘Pray, he is there; speak, he is listening. You are his child; His love now surrounds you’ [(“A Child’s Prayer,” Children’s Songbook, 12–13)].”

    At the end of the semester she reported: “This project really helped me to reflect on what I learned and put my thoughts into words, which is great preparation for when I go on my mission. By doing this I was presented with the opportunity to share the gospel multiple times with my non-member roommate. Overall, this project made me a better missionary and deepened my testimony of Christ and His gospel.”

    By sharing what she was learning and feeling in class, Rebekah not only strengthened her testimony of the gospel but also extended the reach of the Spirit from her institute classroom to all of her social media followers.

    See examples and further instruction on how students and teachers can use social media to flood the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In 2014, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invited members of the Church to flood the earth with the gospel message using online and social media tools (see “To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood” [Brigham Young University Campus Education Week address, Aug. 19, 2014). Seminary and institute classrooms are ideal settings for teachers to invite students to do just that—to flood the earth with the gospel.

    Teachers have long understood that inviting students to share allows them to deepen their conversion as they testify of truth and share what they are learning (see “Teaching Methods, Skills, and Approaches,” Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion [2012], 58–77). Students are often invited to organize their thoughts and then share with the class, with a partner, or in groups. They occasionally record in journals the truths they are learning. What if teachers also invite students to share these thoughts in an authentic way that many people use every day?

    Teachers who include social media opportunities in their lesson plans will help students testify with far-reaching effects. And it’s easy—teachers do not need to know anything about social media because most students are already experts at it. Teachers just need to invite, which is something they are experts at. Examples of an invitation to share on social media include:

    • “Would you answer the following question on the social media platform of your choice?”
    • “Take a picture of this quote (shown on the board or PowerPoint), post it on social media, and add your thoughts as to why it is important to you.”
    • “Would you please take what you have just written in your journal and share a summary of it on social media?”

    Note: Remind students to use the hashtags #LDSSeminary or #LDSInstitute when invited to share in class—they’ll know what to do.

    Not only will students deepen their own conversion through the principle of sharing, but others outside of the classroom will receive messages about institute and seminary. As these others see their friends’ posts, their interest in institute and seminary will increase. Students who are not attending classes will be reached, and the social media efforts will enhance the work we already do with parents and priesthood leaders.

    What a glorious day we live in when we can instantly share a thought, truth, or testimony with hundreds or even thousands of people and allow the Spirit to testify of the truth as we #sharegoodness.

    Click here for additional examples of institute students sharing on social media.