Social media can be a touchy subject when it comes to the profession of teaching. Everyone undoubtedly these days is on some form of social media whether it be Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc. it has had a very positive impact on the world, and the lives that we live today. There are many great things that we can do with social media and the internet, and now most of us can’t imagine our lives without them. However when it comes to teaching and social media, there can be a dark side to it.
Most children these days also have access to social media and usually are up to date with the latest technology. Personally from experience with my younger siblings, it fascinates me how much more children as young as 7 know about technology compared to me at 17. Children can often end up in a section on social media they are not supposed to be on. For example, they may be watching a video on YouTube and click on one of the suggested videos, which may be completely inappropriate for a child to be watching. This can also come in to effect, especially when a child reaches upper school ages, that they have a tendency to ‘google’ if you like, their teachers. We are all guilty of it. I can recall from being in high school, a group of us searching for some of our teachers on social media although I cannot think if a valid reason as to why we were doing so. Therefore it is our duties as teachers to be very careful with our social media sites and what we are posting on the online world.
The first steps that I feel are crucial when it comes to the profession of teaching and social media, is that we ensure all our profiles are private and only accessible to our friends only. Although it may seem very restrictive, if teaching is truly what we want to do with our lives, then it should be something we should be willing to sacrifice. We need to think twice before posting online, especially if we are teaching within our own community in which we may be friends with any pupils’ parents. A major thing that we need to be careful with is photographs of ourselves that are posted online. Our professionalism also exists the classroom with us when we leave. We need to make sure that no one is uploading or we ourselves are not uploading any type of photo that may get us in any kind of trouble or put our job at risk. With social media, it can have a huge impact on our careers, and it can have multiple consequences if we are not careful, thus we need to be very critical with ourselves and how we portray ourselves on the online world.
This being said I also do think that social media is a great asset to the teaching community. As teachers we can set up separate accounts to engage with our students online, in a fun and engaging way. Social media is something that is constantly developing in the word, and something that is not going to go away, thus we should be engaging with it within a classroom. It is most common that negative connotations spring to mind when speaking about the subject of social media and the teaching profession. Although this is something we need to explore in to and steer more towards the positives and begin to realize the many benefits social media possess to us as teachers.
After doing a bit of research in to social media and the classroom, I came across this video, and I found it really interesting in demonstrating the positives of using social media within a classroom and the benefits children get from using it in their learning.