Really loving this discussion tonight around the use of social media for professional development and how we could use it for teaching in class.
I've been thinking about how I use social media and the purpose. The WHY is absolutely critical. We need to think about HOW we use it and WHY we'd use social media too.
Some key features of social media that are beneficial for teaching and learning:
- connect with people outside of your immediate colleagues at school
- connect with people who are like-minded and are interested in collaborating
- develop more indepth perspectives around issues that you're interested in
- make connections throughout the world
Potential challenges that teachers need to be aware of when integrating social networking platforms into teaching activities:
- digital citizenship issues
- issues around effective use and the WHY
- being more inclusive about the way we connect
The main issue I suppose is how we use social media to more effectively teach digital citizenship skills, actively and in participation and collaboration with our students and the world around us. Using social media tools to share learning and perspectives is incredibly important as students need to learn from someone they trust and can approach with questions about using social media. If students don't learn digital citizenship skills at school, and don't get help from whanau at home, then where do they learn to be appropriate while online?
More importantly, students need to identify more effective ways to resolve issues other than believing the negative things people say while using social media. They often get in too deep with cyber bullying and get so inundated with messages and lost in their online worlds.
The best thing though about being able to use social media in class is teaching students what is acceptable and what could be done about creating more safer online environments, and how they have a place in creating those environments.
- TWITTER!!!!! PINTEREST!!!!
How do I use social media to enhance my professional development?
I feel as if I've explained this plenty plenty plenty of times previously at different workshops, conferences, discussions on PLD etc BUT.... I'll discuss the main reasons again here:
I use social media, specifically Twitter, to enhance my PLD so that I don't feel lonely anymore. That sounds really stupid - but when I first started using it I was a first year teacher and didn't feel like I could ask those 'stupid' questions from those in my department. At the time I felt alone and isolated, partly because I was too scared to speak up and ask the more experienced teachers and also because I had such a massive thirst for learning and I wasn't getting enough from the PLD run at school around the areas that I was most interested in.
Now as a fifth year teacher, I still use Twitter to get ideas, inspiration, advice and perspectives from teachers around the country and around the world. I love that you get instantaneous feedback and that there is no hierarchy when using Twitter - it is a flat landscape in terms of connecting to people around the world by sending a simple tweet. I love that you can send a tweet to someone you have admired for years, like Sarah Kay or even Sir Ken Robinson and maybe you don't get a response back or maybe you do - the point is that you can connect with someone directly. And that is the beauty of Twitter.
I've connected with English teachers across the country, teachers using Class Dojo around the world, teachers I admire and teachers I've had debates with. I've used Twitter to ask questions on the behalf of my students to world leaders. This in itself builds openness, collaboration, understanding and the ability to relate to others. All important aspects within education and future focussed learning.
Using Social Media in the Classroom
Really interesting video - I liked how she used it to show her student's learning progressions - how she got students to write their blog posts - even though they couldn't write well, she wrote what they meant in brackets and they could get some pictures of videos to show their learning too.
Benefits: students connect with outside world!
Challenges: issues around student use of photos - policies might be used in her school - surely needed a disclaimer or something??
The PPTA have some INCREDIBLY good guidelines around the use of social media - found here and here.
NZCER likewise - found here and here and here.
Interested in using Twitter as a teacher and professional? Check out my Twitter cheat sheet here.
The workshop slides and notes that Nathaniel Louwrens and I created from our workshop at ULearn last year.
The #EdBlogNZ list of NZ teachers' blogs - found here.
Resources to look into: