Social media – benefit or hassle? #Aprilblogaday

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#wordswag #digitalleadership

This month, I have decided to participate in the #Aprilblogaday challenge. To help with topics, I am using the prompts provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith) a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Yesterday’s prompt was: What role has social media played in your teaching practice, teaching community? Good and Bad.

I started using social media in 2007, to keep an eye on my older children. As I became more involved in its use, I began to discover the power of mass communication provided. At the time, I taught at a residential treatment facility for juvenile offenders, so I was unable to employ social media for connecting with parents and students. However, I began to follow influential educators, read blogs, and listen to podcasts. I was hooked.

It took me some time to begin to ask questions and seek help via social media. In 2010, I began to understand the power of social media in a job search. I was able to check out schools and leaders. I recognized some schools and educators did not use social media. I used their Web sites to determine social media policies, so I could answer questions about my use.

When I became the administrator of a small, Christian school, I learned about the importance of social media in marketing. I read more information from Michael Hyatt and Dr. Rick Newberry. Both provide valuable content about using social media for marketing. Additionally, I used social media to seek out information about social media use policies and user agreements for students/parents.

As I discovered more education-related podcasts, I heard more information about Twitter chats and the unconference movement. I started following, then participating in different chats. I attended several EdCamps and other similarly focused events. At each event, I learned more about how other educators are using social media to connect and collaborate. I began to experiment more with the use of social media for communication. I started using the school’s social media accounts to share school happenings, announce snow days, and communicate with parents.

When the school closed and I changed positions, I focused more on connecting with other educators and helping fellow educators to utilize social media to communicate and share. Last summer, I presented, at the #TeamJXN EdTech Kickoff, about using social media management tools to post to several networks at the same time, to schedule posts, and to follow hashtags. I shared the value of Hootsuite and Buffer. We explored how teachers and administrators can use these tools to limit their time spent posting to several different social networks.

Additionally, I attended the presentation of Sarah Soper (@soperclassroom) about how she uses social media to connect with her students. She discussed the use of chats and backchannels for class discussion. I found the presentation valuable as I stepped back into the classroom last fall.

My current school only utilizes social media for communicating with parents and sharing school happenings. No class or teacher accounts are used. I have not asked about their use, but I will for next school year. I believe the benefits far outweigh the potential negatives. Moreover, as teachers explain, discuss, and model proper use of social media students will observe and learn.

Comments
Please let me know your thoughts about my blog. Your feedback is important in helping me to reflect, learn, and grow. Thank you for reading.

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My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge

I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.

A Letter to My Younger Self  #Aprilblogaday

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Advice to My Younger Self #Aprilblogaday

This month, I have decided to participate in the #Aprilblogaday challenge. To help with topics, I am using the prompts provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith) a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Today’s prompt is: Advice to a first year me-If you knew then what you know now.

Twenty-two years ago, I thought I knew what I was getting into as I faced graduation and the possibility of having my own classroom. I will admit now, I truly knew nothing I would face.

I finished my student teaching, about this time in 1995. I enjoyed Spring Break, and then I started as a substitute teacher. Below is a letter I wish I had received when I started.

Marc,

Congratulations! In the next month you will graduate and begin your journey as a professional educator.

In the next month, you will have a choice between keeping your word (subbing) and meeting President Bill Clinton. Trust the values you have developed. You will make the right decision. Honoring your commitment is the right thing to do. You may never get to meet a President, but you have shown you are dependable.

You will want to resume your education, in the fall, but you may want to consider all your options. While a M.A. in Middle Level Education may be enticing, your future students may receive a greater benefit if you choose a program in Special Education. The ideas you learn and use each day will benefit all students, not only those with special needs.

The silos of education cannot continue to exist. Utilize the changing world of the Internet for more than chat and email. Take time to learn the intricacies of technology and networks. They will play an important role in education.

Many great educators will cross your path. Have the courage to connect with them, network with them, and create a Mastermind group. Start connecting, sharing, and learning from educators in other buildings, districts, and states. Be willing to explore the possibilities of using new tech to expand your support network. Do not wait until 2013 to start using Twitter to connect with other professionals.

Start a blog to reflect on your learning. Be open with others about your struggles, failures, and successes. Without a willingness to share and be open, we cannot tear down the silos. Be consistent with your blog. It will be cathartic.

Read and comment on other blogs. Share blogs and podcasts with other who may benefit from the information. Your future and the future generations of students will forever be changed by your learning and that of others.

Live with COURAGE to be reflective, connected, and bold,

Your Future Self

Comments

Please let me know your thoughts about my blog. Your feedback is important in helping me to reflect, learn, and grow. Thank you for reading.
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My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge
I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.

 

 

Empowering Students With Choice #Aprilblogaday

This month, I have decided to participate in the #Aprilblogaday challenge. To help with topics, I am using the prompts provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith) a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Today’s prompt is: How do you integrate student choice into Continue reading Empowering Students With Choice #Aprilblogaday

21 Things – Connect With a Video Call

   Engaging your students with others outside the classroom used to require field trips and guest lecturers. Technology has made the process much easier. With an iPad, you can use Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype to connect with others throughout Continue reading 21 Things – Connect With a Video Call