I have been engrossed in the world of education lately, and ironically, had writer’s block trying to come up with a topic for a new blog post. Weeks had gone by, and I still couldn’t think of a topic I wanted to write about- until I looked down at my computer and thought, ‘why not write about technology and social media?’
The world of education is ever changing, and for the better, I believe. This doesn’t only apply to the classroom, but for teachers and educators as well. Twitter has become a teacher hot spot for networking, vision-sharing, collaborative work, and so much more. Apparently, a lot can be said in 140 characters. Twitter chats are shown on my feed daily, and in all honesty, I get pretty good information from them. Blog posts, websites, podcasts and more- all at the reach of our fingertips. Yes, there are probably downsides to the growing social media platform. As a teacher, I feel it is important to remain professional and somewhat private online. However, sometimes it can be hard to see the line of what could and should be put in 140 characters, and what should not. Yes, instagraming your classroom and favourite student pieces is a nice way of showing accomplishments and giving ideas to other educators, but where is the line to what picture we should be posting, and what we shouldn’t be?
We can easily come up with the pitfalls of technology and social media in the teaching world, but what about the upside?
Twitter has opened up a whole new world to me; it has led me to writing this for voicEd. 140 characters has led me to meeting new people; from short tweets, to a giant podcast of 18(ish) teachers and educators from all around. It has allowed me to create TC2; a podcast dedicated to the world of being a teacher candidate. In this, I can speak with other TC’s, and without it, I may not have gotten that opportunity. Pinterest has given me ideas that I may not have thought of myself, and the tools to make that idea come to life. Instagram has given me funny and relatable teacher jokes on those days where not even coffee can help. So, is it all bad?
It can only be as bad as you let it. Using social media responsibly and with a level of caution will allow you to explore, network, and learn. The 21st century is all about technology, and although I can understand the reluctance, we should perhaps instead be open to stepping into the technological world; even if for a minute, just to see what it’s all about. This is not to say we should replace everything with technology. I would choose a hard cover book over a kobo any day. What I am saying is that the online world is not as bad as it is put out to be. Explore the online world, network with those near or far, and learn from each other.
Now, what do you have to say about technology and social media in 140 characters?