Getting started with social media can be daunting. I remember when I began exploring Twitter a few years ago. Like many others, when I signed up, I didn’t get it. I was almost instantly overwhelmed with the amount of information and could not make sense of it.
As I stumbled my way through the seemingly strange social media landscape, I’ve met some amazing guides who have paved a path. I began to read and delve into the resources they shared and slowly…I learned more. As I learned, I began to get my bearings a bit. Through their example, they have opened up a whole new world to me.
Here are just a few of the educators who are part of my personal learning network and the resources they have generously shared with those interested in learning more about how to use social media for professional learning and community engagement.
An Educator’s Guide to Twitter by Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom). Steven created a comprehensive online LiveBinder (An Educator’s Guide to Twitter) that includes everything you’ll need to get started — the basics of what Twitter is, how to use it to connect with other educators, how to use it in your classroom, and more.
Steven also writes regularly, on his blog The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom, about ways that educators can use social media to enhance their professional practice. On his blog, you’ll also find posts on how administrators can use social media to promote their schools and engage with parents. His blog also has as a useful sample of Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices and a presentation on Creating Student and Teacher Friendly Social Media Guidelines.
Social Media for Administrators by George Couros (@gcouros) is an excellent compilation of the why and how of social media for educators. A great resource for shifting your thinking and learning more about how to use social media for professional learning and connecting with other educators.
Communicating and Connecting with Social Media by Bill Ferriter (@plugusin), Jason T. Ramsden (@raventech), and Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) provides a clear and informative overview of the many ways to use social media to enhance professional development for teachers, to reach out to parents and to engage students in learning. The resources included in the book are invaluable to any school leader looking for an entry point into social media.
Planning Your School District Admin Twitter 101 prepared by Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza), Lead Learner at Knapp Elementary School (@KnappElementary) in Landsdale, Pennsylvania, is a great resource that includes an outline of a professional learning session he facilitated, complete with links and slides.
In this interview, Joe articulates the benefits of using social media and some of the ways to use this technology to engage with school communities.
How do you envision using social media for enhancing your learning and connections with others? Your comments are encouraged.