#8 Social media is prevalent in many parts of our society. How has it impacted your classroom?

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As I researched this topic my eyes have been opened. I began seeing multiple articles about social media being used in the college classroom, high school, and junior high classrooms. But what about elementary classrooms and better yet lower elementary classrooms??? I found the article, Introducing Social Media to the Elementary Students. This is an interesting article and has some very valid points when teaching our students of the 21st Century. The article shares, “Whether you introduce social media to students through a class blog, individual student blogs, Twitter or paper, there is no “right way” to begin. Do I really feel that toddlers should Tweet? Probably not. However, what’s important is that we introduce all children to social media in appropriate and meaningful ways, regardless of their age, such that they can connect to a global audience and develop as empowered, networked learners.”

Wow…I am feeling overwhelmed and behind before I even begin this new year of school! :) In my classroom I have used and exposed multiple forms of technology through the use of digital storytelling, apps, games, etc. I have not introduced anything with student blogs or blogging sites. I think that blogging would be fun to explore with them. I would definitely start small and work as a whole group so students could understand the meaning behind blogging and being connected.

On a totally different technology note…I do communicate with parents on a daily/weekly/monthly basis with the Remind App. This works great for getting reminders out quickly to parents and with the updates on the app, parents can now respond back to the teacher. I still give my school information, cell phone number, and email but many of my parents just message me through the Remind App. This is an interesting read, 10 Tips for Teachers to Connect with Parents Via Social Media.

On another technology note…Facebook. Just to set things straight — Facebook is blocked at our school for many different reasons so no one should be updating their feed during school hours. There are many positive things with Facebook and Twitter and our school updates our school feeds with happening around the school — K-12th Grade. It is a great communication tool that many families use. It is fun to see what is going on inside our school and activities outside of school. Facebook has also been a place where people have an open forum with a large audience. So many things have been posted about schools in a positive light but as everything, there is also the negativity that happens as well. It is disturbing when parents/students go on and vent about school situations. There has been cases where one side of the story has been told and untruly shared at the expense of a teacher or a school system. The sad reality is that it is not just school or school systems that get caught in the negativity circle, it is just one of many that get brought in this game we call life. With that being said, it is important to educate students at all levels what is appropriate and inappropriate to post or share on-line.

As it has been stated, technology is here and booming and we need to join in and get involved. Social media plays a large part of our world and we need to understand and learn how we can become a part of the global network. As stated above, “What’s important is that we introduce all children to social media in appropriate and meaningful ways, regardless of their age, such that they can connect to a global audience and develop as empowered, networked learners.”

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