Monday, March 9, 2015

Pure Genius Week 6: Social Media and Teachers

This week we are reading about teachers' use of social media. How are you all using social media? To share what your students are doing? To ask questions of your PLN? To read about what other educators are doing and get ideas to use in your classroom? Also, what is your preferred social media tool and why? And if you're not utilizing social media, are you seeing reasons why you should jump in and try it?

Next week, we will read the chapter titled "Social Media and Students."

27 comments:

  1. I have used facebook in the past. Most parents and students are always checking it, so it was a useful source of information about music programs, what is going on in class, etc..... I have never jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, but as I was reading this chapter it might be another website worth trying! I hadn't thought too much about the collaboration with other educators via Twitter, but I am going to check it out. I truly believe that in today's world technology needs to be used to connect with parents on top of phone calls/notes/school newspapers.

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  2. I know that Edmodo is an educational portal but it does have a vast amount of communication capabilities both within your classroom and with educators all over the world. I share many of my projects and lessons and browse those shared by fellow educators. I follow the groups of the Buck Institute as well as numerous other communities centered around the courses and grade levels I teach. Interaction and feedback is speedy and very helpful in these threads. In regards to traditional social media methods, I use Twitter for my coaching which includes several student followers. I still have a reservation about not having my setting on private so I control who can see my posts. I created a separate Twitter account for my classes and use it to follow countless educational sites and leaders. It is not set to private. I just have not found a way to incorporate that into my daily routine given my reliance on Edmodo. I will make that addition at some point, especially if I am chosen to teach online courses.

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    1. John is right. I have found many useful sites and projects listed on Edmodo from other teachers. The only problem is finding the time to look at them on a regular basis while keeping up with my own personal and professional lives.

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  3. I am a fan of Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube and follow several blogs for ideas, inspiration and professional development. I have avoided Twitter because I did not understand that it could be a collaboration tool. After reading this chapter Twitter is something I would like to explore. Wettrick recounts his feelings of disappointment when he created a video and only received an "A". What this reminded me of was that creativity cannot occur solely in a vacuum or simply be rewarded with a grade. Social Media supplies the stage for creativity to be explored and rewarded.

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  4. Twitter is one social media tool that I use professionally as I follow several educational feeds such as @edtechdigest @edudemic @dailygenius @edutopia plus some speakers and fellow teachers being my favorites. I try from time to time to participate in the weekly #INeLearn chats and have found this a great way to stretch my tweeting capabilities: I don't find Twitter difficult but living without it for almost five decades I sometimes have to work at incorporating it in my life. My school system greatly supports teachers posting Facebook updates of class and school happenings, but students do not usually have access to Twitter and Facebook during the school day on their supplied 1:1 devices, only on phones. This is fine with me as there are plenty of other ways to make connections, including mybigcampus (which now has a Twitter link option among its other networking features). I would be interested in following any of your Twitter accounts that are school related; my own is @farandlow

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  5. Twitter is my favorite social media tool. I also use Pinterest professionally, which I love for content curation and ideas. Twitter, though, has allowed me to broaden my PLN exponentially. I find that when I participate in Twitter chats (I am a big fan of #INeLearn chats when I am able to catch them), the connections last beyond just that conversation. I have found myself reaching out to people from chats afterwards to ask questions and share ideas. I also use Twitter to keep up with what's new in education. I think this may be why I have an absurd amount of Chrome extensions staring at me right now...

    I am working to get more student followers right now. I am actually running a promotion this week that involves a random prize drawing each day for my followers. With more student followers, I think I will really be able to drive more traffic into my media center. It can never be too busy!

    If you are on Twitter, you can find me at @CAMMediaCenter!

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  6. Twitter is the biggest social media I use. I have two accounts I manage; one account is our official school account (@KoutsMHS) and I have my personal account (@tomstoner24). I use the school account to send out reminders, pictures, updates, etc about school happenings. My personal account is where I find all my professional development. I follow, who I call my twitter heros, many of the educational giants. Through twitter I have found several articles to read, blogs to follow and books to read. I feel I would not have gained the knowledge I have if it had not been for twitter.
    I do have a facebook account, but I basically only use it to "steal" pictures of my grandkids :). If you searched on Pintrest you would find me, however, my wife runs that account off my facebook, so it is her, not me. Twitter is the one I use for educational purposes though.

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  7. Professionally, I've used EdModo, Twitter, and Facebook both to grow my PLN and to connect with my students and families. I've also used Remind101 for that immediate need to get a message to students and families immediately. I've found that it is not as effective among the middle schoolers-- though most of them have cell phones, they aren't interested in reminders or interacting with their teachers and peers.

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  8. I hate to admit it but I’m not a fan of social media at all. I have seen too many student problems begin with negative posts and shared gossip over social media sites. Maybe I’m old but I miss the days of sitting with friends and talking and having dinner without worrying about which electronic device is about to ring in another message.

    I am however a gigantic fan of using electronic resources in the classroom and library. We began using e-learning this year and NOT losing those 8 days to bad weather was wonderful. We can still have the students prepared when ECA and AP testing arrives. Having e-books available for students encourages them to read. And having daily assignments available to students electronically has been a great help in assisting students to not fall behind in class due to illness or missing school because of an appointment.

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  9. I think that social media could be used effectively to help connect with your students and parents. I agree with Tammy that there are concerns with all of the negative energy that comes from social media pertaining to student problems. I also believe it is imperative to have a separate account from your personal account to share with students and parents.In the elementary school, I think connecting with parents through social media would be helpful in relaying information to them, provided you could get involvement.
    Personally, I have found that Twitter and Pinterest are fantastic resources for finding all sorts of professional information. As Mr. Stoner said, many articles I have been lead to through Twitter have been great sources from which I have gained much knowledge.

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  10. I use social media all the time to get messages to students, parents, and the community. Working with seniors on the college and scholarship application process, I found that they don't use email that much. They use social media. And yes, there can be lots of problems when students use social media inappropriately, but I feel the good outweighs the bad. I have a Twitter account, Facebook, Instagram, and Google account. I also have a blog and use the DOE Learning Connection. I do not follow or request students to be my friends, but if they request this from me, I accept. I have found that parents still use Facebook predominantly, but students have moved to other social media (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat being the popular ones here). Yik Yak is used by some, but in the wrong way and that is a platform I wish would be removed. If you are not familiar with it, it is "anonymous"- students message about other students, talk about illicit activity, bully students, etc. I have an account that I monitor- just to try to be a step ahead of what tomorrow's problem will be. It has caused lots of problems. This may be more for discussion next week, but Yik Yak is a scary site. I tell students all the time that the Internet (and social media) is a tool. If building a house and you have a power saw, it makes the job much easier, unless used inappropriately and you cut your arm off. The same is true with the Internet. It is a powerful tool. When used appropriately, one does not get hurt.

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    1. Thanks for the Yik Yak alert. I had never heard of it, and my 16 year old savvy son was unaware, as well; I feel very informed (for this week). Keep us updated.

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  11. While I use Facebook for my personal life, I decided that Twitter would be professional only. I follow folks or groups that I think will benefit me professionally while not wasting my time . I try to spend less than 20 minutes a day on Twitter (and I usually meet this goal) but I find that I spend more time on Twitter during the summer when I have more time to peruse and learn. I use Twitter to find resources and ideas for the classroom. I try to share interesting tweets with my fellow teachers, but sometimes the vast amount of information becomes overwhelming.

    I have found the following groups to be beneficial:
    @INeLearn (Indiana ELearning) - this one is great to keep up on technology PD being offered throughout the state. They also have an education/technology twitter chat every Thursday evening from 8-9.
    @21stCenturyTch - good educational articles. They don't tweet often, but they tweet quality.
    @edutopia - good articles and lots of free giveaways. (You might need an edutopia account to see the articles, but the account is free and worth setting up).
    @NMHS_Principal - tweets a lot of good technology articles/resources. He sometimes tweets location or what he is eating, but not too much time wasted. This one is worth following.
    @BookBub - if you have an ereader, this one may be for you. They tweet free/cheap ebooks daily. You can go to bookbub.com to sign up for a free account. You set the genre categories you want to see and they email you a list every day.

    I also follow many authors and publishing companies that probably wouldn't interest this group, but I love to hear about the new books coming out, books being made into movies and where to see authors in person as they tour with their new books. (I even had a twitter conversation with one of the authors the other day:)

    I have been a lurker (reading but not posting very often) on Twitter for the last few years, but now it is time for me to start posting more. My goal for the next year is to tweet/retweet something of quality at least once a week. I think this blog assignment may help me with this as I want to start blogging about the books I am reading too.

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  12. Presently, I do not use social media with my students. It is something that I have thought about doing, but yet haven't. I guess it boils down to that I am very apprehensive about having myself connected to the students via social media. You hear so many horror stories about the misuse of social media. I would hate to put myself in that position. If I were going to use social media in the classroom, I think I would stick more to Twitter. I personally have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts. I do use Twitter and Pinterest to get ideas to use in the classroom and to keep updated on educational topics.

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  13. The ideas presented in this chapter could lead to some very exciting content activities! I've heard of Twitter being used for vocab work, but have not seen or heard of its impact on retention. I really liked the idea of creating a private Pinterest board for parent involvement. We have great untapped resources that could contribute greatly to the classroom experience, but are limited by schedules. After viewing the collaboration high school video piece, I would love to suggest something like this to teachers who are wanting to do some social awareness discussions. As a coach, I can think of a few teachers who are ready to branch out and let their students fly with these technology pieces!!

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  14. I, like Tammy Stouse, am not a fan of social media. I do have a personal Facebook account that I rarely use. And like Fawn McTagertt, am reticent to connect to students via social media. I only accept friend invitations from seniors after graduation. Our marching band does have a Facebook page that has been useful in getting messages out to parents and some students. The band director has used Remind101 in the past to connect to parents and students as well. She has also encouraged me to join a Facebook page for band directors, which she finds quite informative (this is on my to-do list). As far as Twitter, I shared the author’s original view, a bragging celebrity contrivance, but after reading this chapter and the posts of other bloggers I think I may be ready to give it a try.

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  15. I use social media for new ideas. I post from time to time on something that has worked or hasn't worked but I don't feel comfortable doing it. Mostly I use Facebook. I have a personal account and a site for my PE classes. I don't like using students names or pictures because of confidentiality. I have gone to a few e-technology conferences in the last few years and have learned many new things but I need to get into the practice of using the various sites.

    My main problem is finding the time. There is no time during school and when I get home is all the work that needs to be done there. Can anyone tell me how they can keep up with the different sites and find time for everything else?

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    1. This is less an answer to your question rather a few observations, not knowing at what stage of life you are with family and work experience. While it may seem like everybody is keeping up with different sites you referred to, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and something has to give way. In my effort to be a better teacher, my family can tell you when and where I dropped the ball numerous times on being a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend. My aim is to be a good judge about spending time where I am most needed at the moment, and some stages of life require a greater focus on people in one's personal life. I can say that choosing to add just one thing professionally from time to time can ease the burden of 'trying to keep up' with all that we are asked to do., and mobile devices can certainly make us more efficient. While multi-tasking might seem to be a great talent, it doesn't always mean that people who do it accomplish more. Our own mental health and personal peace are truly what make us better teachers in the end.

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    2. Very wise and truthful advice, Tammy!

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  16. As a school I use Twitter/Facebook for celebrations and sometimes reminders. I would like to use it more to engage with other groups. Additionally, I blog for our school. Professionally, I use twitter for my source of getting professional development. I haven't used it as much however to collaborate.

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  17. I have used Twitter a lot in the past and have tried to build my PLN. I have tweeted a few times asking teachers for ideas when faced with a new topic and received some great responses. I also allow my students to follow me on Twitter and there are a few projects that I use twitter as a tool. I have also used Facebook and Pinterest for new ideas when teaching. I encourage my students to use social media as a tool above all else use it responsibly.

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  18. After being prompted to use Twitter professional two times in a week, I need to step it up and get going. I am hopeful to find information and ideas for students needing Intense Intervention. In my classroom we use iPads daily for individual instruction, or an activity to achieve a daily individual goal. Out biggest, best, and most used piece of technology used in the classroom is the TAPit, a large interactive computer monitor, which is attached to my laptop. This allows my students that are blind/low vision see or look towards the TAPit during small group activities. I present the Weekly Reader vocabulary, video, and skill game on the TAPit. Like all kids, my students like computer generated activities. YouTube continues to be my first place to go for extra student instruction. The educational children videos/songs are always part of our day. It's a great way for my students to recognize a familiar song or phrase.

    OK, my goal is to be a novice Twitter-er by the end of spring break!

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  19. It is unbelievable to me how much social media has impacted our current society. I think it is an exceptional way to connect with students on their level and through something that they are interested in and are so familiar with. It is great tool when used appropriately to share information and ideas with so many people at once. We recently used Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word to vote for a country wide competition to win $100,000 for a charity directly affecting one of our students. There is no way that we could have gotten the word out to so many people to vote and have the success in winning the challenge without the help of social media. Although this is not "academic" this is an example of how social media directly helped my classroom.

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  20. I use Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I tend to use FB for personal use. Many parents are on Facebook and I do share information of upcoming events in the school library on Facebook. I have two Pinterest accounts--a personal account and a work account. I use Twitter professionally. I have not been checking in on Twitter as often as I should. I never have time during the school day and I can not always access it at work. I need to make the time at home. I have learned so much through my PLN on Twitter. I share the information I gain with my colleagues.

    Twitter handle @laurafrondorf
    Facebook Laura Shera Frondorf
    Pinterest Laura Frondorf

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  21. I only use Facebook for personal use and not often. I text or use email to communicate electronically. However, after reading this chapter, I would like to use Twitter for professional inspiration and professional development. I plan to set up an account in the next week and start small. Since I am interested in flipped classrooms, I may start with this topic. I do have a Pinterest account, but have not made much use with this. I think it is easy to get overwhelmed with social media, but now realize that I need to make a better attempt at making use of at least Twitter. I doubt I would access on a daily basis, but every third day seems realistic to me. I think once I get comfortable with Twitter, it will be easier to check on a regular basis. It is hard to find the time to keep up my teacher website, so am not sure using Twitter at work is realistic. So little time and so much to do. But I do want to be a better teacher, and believe that I need to have access to good teachers who are willing to share what works and what doesn't. Twitter certainly seems like a good mechanism for this sharing!

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  22. I haven't used social media to share what my students have done or projects. I have used YouTube videos in my classroom to show video examples of educational topics to my students. I have also used Pinterest for ideas in my classroom. I would like to learn more about the Facebook groups and Twitter.

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  23. I had not thought of Pinterest as social media before. I would say that I am an avid user of pinterest. I have more than 5 boards for my classroom alone and have used it to collaborate with my paras several times and it has given me many jumping boards from which to create my own lessons. It is something that I will continue to use. I never really got into twitter before, but after reading about it I want to try it. Though I have to be honest in that I truly don't know where to start or how. I use facebook but not as a teaching tool and don't know that I want to as I am actually trying to get away from that.

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