7. To tweet… or not to tweet?

Effects of Social Media in Teaching and Professional Development

Benefits

In the video “Using Social Media in the Classroom,” (2013), Kathy Cassidy states that usingimages social media in the classroom is “where the students are at, it is their way to keep in touch with their real life.” These digitally-oriented students are going to most likely have their careers based online and use the most up to date technology. The fact that their blog or other social media is a digital record, and unable to change or take it away easily, the students are able to go back to their work and reflect on their improvements and changes. The students are able to connect to another class on the other side of the world enabling them to be a global citizen. The students in my classroom are able to expand their learning community to those learning similar things in the other side of the world.

For teachers, connecting globally to other educators around the world allows us to be lifelong global learners like our students. Being “connected educators” (“Connected Educators,” 2013) allows myself as a teacher to share information, gain recognition or collaborate with someone outside of my own professional learning community. Having these platforms to learn from, provides a “personalised learning which is need-based and flexible in time and location” (“Class Notes: Week 29 – APC – Professional Online Social Networks,” n.d.). Having this freedom of talking to a teacher no matter the time or place, allows myself as a teacher to widen my scope of connections and resources.
Being digitally collaborative with the other teachers in my area is a main benefit to using social and online medias. It allows the teachers to share ideas, activities and plans.

Challenges

There is a big challenge in teaching the students in my class to be “socially responsible” inimages their learning online (“Social Media For Kids® The Social Media Education Experts,” 2013)
. The first step in integrating online mediums into the class is ensuring the students know when and how they are being safe. For example, they need to be aware what content they should and shouldn’t include, and which sites are good and which are bad. As previously talked about, the students are unable to change or delete their content easily. This can be viewed as a challenge for those who publish their work
without thinking through the consequences. Again, this comes down to the teacher scaffolding the students to know what to publish.

Having a large social media presence as a teacher, leads me to wondering if some are relying too much on input via their social media platforms. I belong to a NZ Teachers Facebook page and as I browse some of the conversations, I ask myself that question a lot. For my own professional development, I don’t see some of these platforms as being very helpful. When watching the video, “Connected Educators,” (2013), the teachers talked about having collaboration with educators from around the world via their social media- in this instance, they were talking about Twitter. From my point of view, this is not true collaboration. It is contacting and conversing with other people. It is connection with a person in a similar career.

References:

  1. Class Notes: Week 29 – APC – Professional Online Social Networks. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from https://app.themindlab.com/course/release/208-week-29-apc-professional-online-social-networks
  2. Connected Educators. (2013). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from https://app.themindlab.com/media/12726/view
  3. Social Media For Kids® The Social Media Education Experts. (2014). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from https://app.themindlab.com/media/12725/view
  4. Using Social Media in the Classroom. (2013). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from https://app.themindlab.com/media/12724/view

Picture Sources:

  1. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tag/social-media-listening/
  2. http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-4ib4pLyKT
  3. http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-4ib4pLyKT
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