Here in the U.S., it’s nearly time to head back into the classroom and to once again mold young minds. Teachers are organizing their thoughts, figuring out what they learned at all the summer conferences like ISTE, and putting together lessons that will set the world on fire. That’s the idea at least. Students are coming to grips with the fact that their long vacation is winding down and making sure all their friends and family members know that their life is quite difficult.
And both teachers and students are doing all of this on social media.
That’s why I thought it might be useful to run down my five best social media tips for teachers (I’m working on the student version and will publish that shortly as well) who are looking to take advantage of social media. Some of these might seem basic while others might be new to you. No matter what, be sure to read through each tip carefully and feel free to share it with colleagues if you think it’ll help them be a better social media user.
Tip #1: Stay connected to your Personal Learning Network (PLN) even though school is back in session. Just because you’re insanely busy now doesn’t mean you should forget about your friends and colleagues on social media. Make sure to keep up with hashtag chats and all the other connections you’ve made recently.
Tip #2: Set aside time to use social media for personal use. Every second doesn’t need to be a learning experience. I’ve found that it’s actually quite useful to have a personal and professional account on some networks (Twitter, for example). If that’s not possible, be sure to at least have non-professional tweets and chats. That goes for most social networks aside from LinkedIn which is typically professional-leaning.
Tip #3: Get your colleagues on board and see if you can accomplish new projects using social media. Now that you’re back in school, see what colleagues did in terms of social media. Then connect with them and see if there are some relatively simple projects (a new lesson plan you’re working on, a
Tip #4: Try out a new social network this year.There are a ton of new ones! You don’t have to replace Twitter or anything with them … just try some out. You never know what you’ll find.
Tip #5: Try to become an expert-level user of a particular social network. If you’re really into Facebook, join a FB group. If you love LinkedIn, start your own group! If Twitter is your game, see if you can host a hashtag chat or even start your own sometime!
In an effort to help illustrate these tips a bit better, I’ve assembled a crude but hopefully useful visual guide to this post. Basically, just use social media, connect with others, and don’t forget to have fun! Those are the key takeaways.
Do you have some social media tips you’d like to share? Let the world know about them by adding them down in the comments!