Getting Started with Social Media in the Classroom

Digital Learning Magazine  recently reached out and asked me to write an article specifically designed for teachers who do not use or are not aware of the power that social media can have in the classroom.  As I wrote it was amazing to think that I first started using Twitter almost a decade ago.  It’s  hard to quantify how that choice has effected my teaching, career, experiences and the friendships that I have had in the last decade.

(Funny story: I only signed up for Twitter that day because I forgot the stack of papers I was going to grade during a study hall.)

Since that day I have made some of the best friends that I’ve ever had, traveled to over 30 states to work with different school and most importantly changed some of my most fundamental beliefs about teaching.

For this article tried to not just provide a starting point form meaningful Social media use cases in the classroom, but also to state quite simply the “Why” behind my belief that we should all be using and modeling the pro-social benefits of social media for our students.

 

Here are two excerpts from the article (the full text is below) to summarize my thoughts:

“Some of the incivility that exists in electronic spaces today results of the lack of common, shared norms for behavior in these environments.  This state of “normlessness” is called ANOMIE.   Schools are in a unique position to serve society in this capacity. When schools choose to embrace the use of social media as a tool to showcase learning, they begin to model the norms of appropriate and effective use for their students in much the same way that they model the norms of speech, dress, and so many other important areas of life.  Once prepared, students can begin to leverage the powerful pro-social potential of social media to share ideas, find their public voices and contribute to society.”

Students should not be left to learn how to safely navigate social media by themselves. By carefully choosing to use social media in the classroom, schools and institutions can impart values and behaviors that promote safe and appropriate use while at the same time connecting students to the world around them and providing them with an authentic audience for the meaningful work that they do.”

The full text of the article is below.

Here is a link to Down load the full Digital Magazine: http://bit.ly/digitallearning2

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