Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Social Media Guidelines for Teachers

As education continues to progress in a globally connected 21st Century, I hear more and more questions and concerns about social media. In my view social media includes anything through the Internet that includes sharing and allows collaboration, give-and-take, or conversations. Facebook and Twitter certainly come to mind, but I also include blogging, Google Apps in general, and some websites. Here in the Storm Lake Community School District, we encourage our teachers to become socially connected. There are three main reasons for our teachers to do so:

  1. To develop an online Professional Learning Community. Continuing to learn, sharing ideas with other teachers, interacting with experts, and planning for future collaborative events are just a few of the things teachers can do through social media to further their own learning and to become better teachers. Twitter is often the tool chosen for this.
  2. To foster communication between our school and our stakeholders. Our stakeholders include students, parents, other family members, community members, and sometimes other schools. Tools for this include blogs, websites, and even Facebook.
  3. To model the appropriate use of social media to students. We know our students are using social media everyday. We know that they are building an online resume of experiences, learning, and behaviors that can either serve them well in the future or can be destructive to their futures. It's our job as teachers to help students see the best ways to represent themselves online.
As we become more and more active on social media as representatives of the Storm Lake Community School District, it is important that we think through carefully the best way to represent ourselves and our school. I will be outlining some guidelines in future posts.