Of recent weeks, and in saying this we’ve only been at it for 4!, I have had a number of inquiries from keen staff wanting to integrate some form of Social Media in to their classroom teaching and learning programs.
There has often been in recent years a ‘stigma’ associated with Social media use at schools and colleges due to the negative connotation that social media has tagged with it. Cyber Bullying and Teen Suicide to name a select two.
My philosophy is quite simple in this matter. Seeing that the students we teach are digital natives and spend a great deal of time connecting and collaborating with their friends via social media, why should we as teachers not also try to connect with them outside of a school space, in an environment that is safe, secure and relevant to their learning? There are a number of online spaces that allow excellent online connection and collaboration with students in said environments however, the likes of FaceBook and Google+ also allow this to occur if done so correctly.
The tool of choice for the majority of our staff thus far seems to be the use of Blogs and using these to share and liase with students and their families. Wiki’s have also been another tool strongly used, and encouraged. Of late, I’am also now seeing class Twitter accounts being used spasmodically with teachers, and students via the teachers, tweeting the happenings of that class and it’s students! Parents being able to follow this in real time either at work, at home or via their mobile device!
In all of the above however i have realised in my time within my role the key to success in all of this is the education of teaching staff. Making staff aware of the differences between moderating their own FaceBook account and that of a class group for example. Knowing that what they post, no matter the Social media forum, directly links back to the College and can bring the College in to disrepute.
So. To combat this i developed a ‘Social Media Communications Strategy’ that all staff need to have read and understand before undertaking any form of social media use with their students. I have included a great deal of information from the New South Wales and Victorian Education Departments as well as other high ranking resources in elation to online safety and digital citizenship.
I have attached this document below for your viewing pleasure! I hope that you may find it useful as part of your own setting’s if anting to include a more ‘Social’ approach online!