Social media is an extremely modern and useful tool for primary teachers but only if it is used in the correct way. We must learn to keep our personal and professional uses of social media separate if we can not behave in a way that is appropriate because if we fail to do so then this may endanger our fitness to teach according to the General Teaching Council Scotland’s code of conduct.
When using the internet in a professional way there are a number of challenges as well as opportunities that teachers may be faced with when marrying their personal and professional presence on social media. A main challenge I feel would be maintaining boundaries with pupils, keeping a professional relationship online. it is important that both teachers and children know the difference between communicating professionally and chatting with friends in an informal manner. Teachers need to know how to communicate appropriately with their pupils and it is important to know what is acceptable.
Another issue for teachers may be the children’s parent’s looking them up online, they must not post anything on social media that may be deemed inappropriate. For example pictures that include nudity or last weekends drunken antics.
it is important to consider that even though using social media in teaching has some key challenges, there are a number of opportunities that it provides. A main benefit would be the aspect of communication. It is important for a teacher and their pupils to have a good level of communication because it helps to form a stronger professional relationship. Children will be more likely to ask for help and support if their is good communication. Building a good relationship with pupils also tends to help improve behaviour, a teacher will find it easier to control a class if they can identify what is causing bad behaviour.
Children are very in tune with technology these days from an early age, it seems to interest them greatly, this is a key reason why technology is beneficial to the learning environment as children will learn more if they are actually interested in what thy are doing.
Overall I do think the benefits of using social media in teaching far outweigh the drawbacks if it is used correctly. It is important to marry personal and professional presence on social media in such a way that there are still boundaries.
I would personally like to frame social media using a mainly positive viewpoint, I feel this is appropriate as if used correctly it is an extremely useful learning tool, it opens up a world of extra resources and it is a far more entertaining way for primary children to learn. However, both teachers and pupils must always be aware of the dangers and challenges that we face while using social media, it can really make or break the learning experience.