4 Reasons Why Educators Should Engage in Social Media

inspire_1006aThere are so many reasons why I believe that it is imperative that educators and leaders in education be involved in social media, in one form or another. It really has been some of the best learning (if not the best) I have done in my almost 20-year education career!   There are many educators and leaders in education out there who still have doubt about involving themselves, their students, and their schools in Social Media. In this post, I would like to briefly describe 4 reasons why all educators and schools should have Social Media presence.

1.  Communication.  Having a blog, a Facebook page, a Pinterest Page, and/or a Twitter feed is a great way to bridge the school-home gap.  Sharing the learning going in your classroom and/or school is a great way to help enhance the learning of your students and the connections of the parents to the school.  Gone are the days of monthly newsletters where parents received dated information. Today, there are possibilities of real-time communication and celebrations of daily learning! What a great way to engage parents and family members and make them feel really involved and welcomed into the learning environment.

2.  The Kids Need Us.  Our students are living in a world far different from when most of us were in school.  The future is even more unknown.  Our students need us to show them the way. I’m not saying we know the answers, or even that we will lead them, but we need to be there along the way. They need us to help them navigate and learn with them as times change and evolve.  They need us to be able to help them answer questions they have. They need us to be able to understand them and their world. If we are not involved in social media, we are losing connection with our students and we are losing our ability to help them in their future endeavours.

3. Connections and Collaboration. As classroom teachers or building administrators our profession can be somewhat isolating at times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had the best experiences, gain a great deal of motivation and excitement about my work by collaborating with others, as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. Through Social Media, I have learned from so many inspiring educators from whom I have gained so many incredible ideas. I have become even more excited about education and the difference I can make in schools with students, teachers, and parents through the collaboration and connections with so many great educators.

4. Model of Lifelong Learning.  In today’s ever-changing and evolving world, it is imperative that we are lifelong learners and as teachers and leaders in education, it is important to share this learning with our students and our teachers. As administrators, I believe we have to be involved in Social Media so that we can understand what our teachers are doing, so that we can encourage our teachers to take risks in their own learning. If we do not know what is out there, how can we, as leaders, really understand and support our teachers in this area?

I know it can be scary for people to try new things. I know also that for many educators, we want to know what to expect when experimenting with something new.  Social Media can be scary, there is no doubt about that. It is really worth it though to take that leap. Take some time to engage your community and also build your own PLN (Personal Learning Network). While the learning curve can be steep, you will not be sorry about getting connected.

Reach out. Ask questions. Take risks (isn’t this what we ask of our students and educator colleagues?). Start Small. Jump in!

 

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About T. Henriksen

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am a Vice-Principal of an elementary school in a wonderful, vibrant, complex, and growing school district. I have worked in this district since 1995, and became a Vice-Principal in 2005. Lastly, I am a person who loves photography. I gain so much enjoyment and satisfaction taking photos. I have learned a great deal about photography since I purchased my first dSLR in 2008. There is so much more to learn though! All three of these things help to describe who I am as a person, but also demonstrate my love of learning - nothing is ever stagnant with any of these. I love to learn!
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10 Responses to 4 Reasons Why Educators Should Engage in Social Media

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  2. Rebecca says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Being on Twitter/Blogs is like self selected PD. I find that connecting with other Educators online is refreshing. I just started blogging recently and have enjoyed sharing my classroom triumphs and fails! It makes teaching feel less isolating.

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      Yes, Twitter/Blogs have been the best source of professional development for me these past few years. It is even better to get to know some of these amazing educators and leaders. They are truly inspiring. Good for you for starting on the blogging journey! It is so helpful to our practise to reflect and blog about what we are doing, our questions, our joys, and our struggles. Not only that, others also benefit greatly when we open up and share with the world! Good for you! You’re right, it does make teaching much less isolating and much more enjoyable!

  3. Thank you Tia. Your argument, which I agree with 100%, is stated so consicely and clearly. It boils down to using the tools that we have to cultivate a culture of learning. Terrific post, thanks again for sharing your perspective on this topic. Bob

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to commenting. Yes, it is so important to cultivate a culture of learning. That is something I strive for each day. It is essential to involve everyone in that learning journey process.

  4. Dave Truss says:

    I love how you distilled this into just a list of 4 key things… all of which struck a chord with me! I especially like that you say, “4 reasons why all educators and schools should have Social Media presence”. It isn’t just about us, it is about our schools too.
    Thanks for sharing and contributing to my learning Tia,
    ~Dave

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Thanks for reading and responding, Dave!

      As you know, there are so many reasons I feel it is important to be involved in Social Media, but I wanted to put it into a few small, yet powerful, pieces for people to really think about. Those were four important pieces for me. And, you are correct, it isn’t just about us – it’s about everyone! As a parent, I am finding this to be even more important. Unfortunately, I do not feel as connected to my kids’ school and their learning because not a lot is put out there for me to see and ask my kids questions about (to continue the learning at home). I feel this is so very important!

      Talk soon,
      Tia

  5. Pingback: 4 Reasons Why Educators Should Engage in Social...

  6. Pingback: Twitter EDU - David Truss :: Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts

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