4 Creative Ways for Educators to Use Social Media
Social media, when used deliberately and with care, can be a powerful tool in education. In a space that requires so much connectivity and sharing between a wide variety of stakeholders, digital communication can be incredibly useful. Additionally, while it may often feel like a disruptor in class, it can also be leveraged as a tool for learning.
Here are just a few of the ways social media can be an asset to your learning community, as it relates to the work of educators in a variety of roles, from classroom teacher to administrator:
Networking and Professional Learning
Perhaps most obviously, social media can serve as a powerful tool for networking, professional learning, and connecting with peers. This is true of all professions, but educators seem to have taken social learning to the next level, and organized enough to make professional learning opportunities on social media plentiful and meaningful. There’s a reoccurring Twitter chat for nearly every space and discipline in education — from the classic #edchat to #ntchat for new teachers to #ELAchat and #HipHopEd, there’s a chat for everyone. Follow #chatMHE for regular chats with @McGrawHillK12. Bring knowledge to share and an eagerness to learn.
Communicate with Parents and Family
Ensuring that parents and family have access to relevant and timely school information is important, but sometimes challenging. Traditional methods of communication can easily be missed. While social media may not function well as a primary mode of communication, it can be an excellent supplement to your existing channels. Aside from offering up necessary information and news, social media can also allow you to keep parents engaged in school activities and give them a window into their child’s daily experiences in the classroom. Depending on your district’s social media policy, you could explore creating an account exclusively for parents to share updates on classroom fun throughout the day.
Leverage Social Media as a Digital Learning Tool
Again depending on your school’s social media use policy, you might explore how students can use social media for learning. This can of course be tricky, and will require careful monitoring of student activity. However, when used with purpose, social media can help students exercise their voices, make important connections, and learn on a global scale. For example, Beth Maloney, a 5th grade teacher in Arizona, used Twitter to connect her students with authors of some of their favorite books. For her students, the experience was empowering and exciting.
Foster Community Engagement and Support
For school district leaders, social media can also serve as a method of communicating beyond parents and family, and to the larger community. With such a wide reach, social can help educators work together to tell their district’s story, engage the community in events such as fundraisers or games, and give community members insight into how their support affects students. Educator and district leader Michael Berry discusses the way he leverages social media to foster internal and external communities in this blog post.
Find a break down of how educators can leverage specific social media platforms here: