Friday, July 16, 2010
How Far Will You Go To "Connect" With Your Students?
The tweet pictured above struck me as ironic when one of our students (Melanie) asked me on twitter how close we are to connecting with our students through social networking. I wanted to respond, "You and I are doing it right now."
Here is how I responded -
I think this what Melanie was getting at. The question was more about when she could expect a majority of teachers to start using social media to connect with students. This is where I was left without a clear answer. Instead all I can do is ask a question to all of the teachers out there.
How far will you go to connect with your students?
In reality, maybe connect is a word that will scare some people off when we are using it alongside social media. (A quick aside - It is painful to me how carefully we have to choose our words when we are talking about this stuff. Why is it so hard to give something new a shot when it could allow you to get more students engaged?)
Because student engagement is what we are really talking about here and not social media or technology or anything else. I strongly believe that passionate teachers will try new tools (whatever they are) to increase student engagement. While I know that we are inclined to talk about the worst case scenarios when it comes to social media and delving into this with students, I also know that there are plenty of people who have utilized social media in a structured and appropriate manner to engage their students.
While integrating this stuff will no longer make you a pioneer, it will still remove you from the category of mainstream teacher. But again who cares how people categorize you when we are talking about students and their level of engagement?
Here are a few links that may be helpful:
Teachers Guide To Using Facebook
100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook In Your Classroom
Backchannel in Education - Nine Uses
Top 5 Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom
Nine Great Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Twitter