It’s been a long time in the making but Teachers & Social Media has finally been launched. As I alluded to back in February, I was asked by Teachers Council to sit on the reference group for the project. It’s been really interesting to be involved in the development of this resource but what’s been the hardest has been not blogging and tweeting about the project.
Bloggers love to share and keeping this experience quiet has taken a fair bit of willpower.
But now that the site has been launched, I am relatively free to write on the topic.
To say I was surprised to get an email asking me if I was interested in contributing to the project was a bit of an understatement. After all being a first year teacher what could I have to offer? However, I have rambled and ranted about social media use a lot on this blog. So what I lack in teaching experience, I more than make up in opinions on the subject teachers’ use of Social Media. It felt really satisfying to know that my work my actually influence people’s thinking on this topic.
Although the experience was great to be part of there were multiple times where I wondered why on earth I add extra workload into my first year of teaching. And yes there were some emails that sat in my inbox for waaaay too long while projects in the classroom took my attention. Nevertheless, I’m proud of what the awesome people at Teachers Council have produced and happy to be associated with the final outcome.
My participation in the project got me thinking.
Does being connected help get you recognized?
This is a difficult subject to writing about without being labelled as being smug, arrogant, conceited , or even all three but here goes.
Because the more I think about it, I simply wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be part of this project if I didn’t have a social media presence. I’m sure the cynics out there would go ‘well duh it’s a social media reference group of course they need a few social media junkies.’
I see such an immense value in being connected to not only other members of the global profession but also to wider society. And these connections have opened up opportunities not just for me but more importantly for my students.
Popular media stories of teachers using social media are almost always all bad. Career-ending tweets and the ever-present concerns about cyber-bullying. I’m not saying that these issues aren’t serious and shouldn’t be worthy of consideration. However this fear is also holding back innovation. Because being connected is an opportunity for me as a teacher to learn and maintain relevance with the ever-changing world.
Perhaps the Teachers & Social resource might actually change the course of our conversations in social media in education away from the risk of being connected towards more the risks in not being connected.
On the way home of my student submitters remarked, that the experience is something that the wanted to mention when they apply for a job.
To me this was a bit of a eureka moment.
Could social media have the potential to bridge that often-maligned gap between ‘school learning’ and the “real world?’ Could the networks and knowledge that students develop when completing projects become the launching pad for a great career?
I’m not sure of the answer to that question but in the mean time being involved with this particular project has formed a great entry to show how I am meeting the Registered Teacher Criteria.