13 Reasons Territory Teachers Need to Use Social Media

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For Teachers:

  1. Twitter lets you form a professional learning network (PLN) by connecting with teachers all across the globe. With literally thousands to choose from, there are definitely some with the same interests or problems as you.
  2. You can not only find out about lots of tools but also have them reviewed by other teachers who are using them right now in the classroom. How about links on using Wordle for improving writing? 100 uses for digital cameras? iPads? All found through social media (specifically Twitter).
  3. Try out lessons” by presenting your focus material online and see what reactions you get and how well it would work. Then you can reflect on the feedback.
  4. Now that interactive whiteboards are becoming more common you can integrate links directly into your lessons with no searching or fumbling. If you ask your PLN there is sure to be someone who can give you a great resource to use, complete with a review and suggestions.
  5. The Territory (and many other places) are isolated. It’s one of the hardest things to deal with, both personally and professionally. Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Fora and Nings let you make connections and friends no matter where you are. I’ve lived and had small children in three Territory communities, but I have lots of close online friends. I’ve even met some of them 😉
  6. It may not be as quick, but even community kids are getting connected with social media. The days when none of them had a computer are gone – they have phones or games with internet connections. But they aren’t necessarily going to learn about the new world any better than being surrounded by books will magically teach them to read. To help them get the most out of it, teachers need to be there too.
  7. For Students

  8. It gives them a genuine audience for writing if other people are reading their blogs or tweets, even if it is mainly their class members (and you haven’t connected to another community) that’s still more people than they normally have reading their work.
  9. Online, either using Google Docs, blogs or YouTube is a great way to encourage collaboration. You can even collaborate with other communities by sharing work and commenting, and when kids are away the other collaborators can keep working.
  10. It’s more common to have mobile phones, playstations or cable television at home, so it’s more familiar and less threatening than large pieces of blank white paper. The small screens are much easier to fill and less intimidating.
  11. It gives a genuine reason for writing and reading if they are being shared, and there is a tangible product at the end that can be easily stored and shared without getting lost. Media like Twitter with a strict character limit means they don’t have to write or read a lot, and they can concentrate on understanding and expressing one idea.
  12. It makes it easy for kids to proof and edit their work,on a blog it is easy to read someone else’s work and comment on it to help them improve it.
  13. Social media lends itself to scaffolding longer writing because it can be done in small chunks then put together.
  14. Social media are perfect for using visual media like graphics, photos and videos. These are very helpful for students with low literacy skills to demonstrate their understanding of complex ideas.

Do you have any other ideas? I’m starting to expand on each of these points in a series of posts, I’ll add in the links as I go.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Harriet May 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

Those are certainly some great reasons.

Enjoy your Thursday!


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