By Teachers, For Teachers
Social networking is a popular tool that many classroom teachers use today to help them stay connected with their colleagues as well as other professional educators. Today’s technology, meanwhile, allows you to connect with people all over the world. These powerful technological tools can make it easy to maintain your professional development relationships by simply commenting on someone’s photo, status, or by privately messaging them. Having social media accounts are also a great way to showcase yourself. They can act as an informal resume, where potential employers can learn more about you through your profile and newsfeed, as well as browse through your qualifications and experience. Here are a few of the ways that you can take advantage of social media to help you use professional development to network with other educators.
Utilizing social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can help you connect with other educators and gain information. For example, if your students were learning about space, you can Skype or Facetime an expert from NASA to more gain information. If you were learning about Europe, then you can plan a virtual field trip with another classroom or expert from that country to learn more about their lifestyle and culture from a firsthand resource. By forming connections with other educators and professionals, you can help your students (as well as yourself) get accurate information that will increase your knowledge.
Social networking allows you to share ideas with other educational professionals. Sites like Facebook and Instagram make it easy to share your teaching techniques as well as learn from others. By comparing notes on techniques and learning styles, you can easily enhance your knowledge and learning experience in the classroom. You can simply search or share ideas on Instagram by using the hashtags #teachersofinstagram, #teachercreated, or #educator, to name a few. Facebook also has many “Teacher groups” that you can join to share and get ideas as well.
Social networks help to keep you in the loop about what is currently going on in education. They also are a great way to keep you updated on professional development courses, seminars, and conferences that you may need to attend. All you have to do is scroll your newsfeed, join a group, or sign up for notifications and you will be in the know.
One of the great benefits of social networking is establishing key professional relationships that can help advance your career. Social networking can help build your contact list, and the more people that are on that list, the better. If you are looking for a job or want to change your current job then getting a new job can be a lot easier when you know a lot of people. LinkedIn is a great social networking site for professionals because it allows you to connect with not only the educators that you already know, but also their contacts, as well as others in the field whom you have yet to meet. Building these connections will only help you in your future endeavors.
Another great benefit of social networking is that it exposes you to diverse views. As you connect with other professionals in your field from across the world, you will gain insight into different perspectives on educational topics. The more you are exposed to these different points of view, the more you will be open to learning new things. What you once thought may change after connecting to others in your field.
Social networking makes it easy to relay information to parents. Oftentimes, parents are busy with work and taking care of their children, that it makes it hard for you to get a hold of them. Connecting via social media makes it easy get the word out about school events, projects, or discussing a student with the parents who are unable to come to school. With today’s technology it’s easy to connect instantly.
Social networking through technology has transformed the way that we professionally connect with one another. Using this powerful tool will only benefit you and your educational career.
We want to hear your opinion on teachers and social networking. Do you think there are more benefits to this type of professional development communication? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.