As the majority of people use one or more social media sites in day to day life, particularly the likes of ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’, it is highly likely that this is something which will involve them interlinking their personal and professional lives.
One of the main challenges that you may be presented with, if you choose to marry these two aspects, is that the internet can be a very unforgiving place and once something is out there you can’t get rid of it- even once it has been deleted. For this reason it is important to think very carefully before posting anything online, particularly if it is something that will compromise you or your profession.
As primary teachers it is especially important that we are aware of the consequences of inappropriate uses of technology and social media sites. This code of conduct is clearly stated on the GTCS website (GTC Scotland, 2012). It is made clear that the use of social media can blur the boundaries between professionalism and personal life. In the classroom this can mean having a lesser means of authority and can be a gateway into your personal life, automatically putting you in a more vulnerable position.
However, when used in a professional way, social media can provide many positive opportunities for furthering learning. There is a much larger scope to contact others from around the world and to share your different experiences with one another. If you are posting links to areas of interest within your work field, then others will be able to comment their viewpoints and perhaps give you advice on where to look next. This can lead to national and international links being formed and great opportunities for inter-cultural work.
I think it is important to see the positive side of social media, whilst using it sensibly and teaching children to do the same. It is a great resource that we have, which others didn’t have in the past, and so we should use it to our advantage and not fear the ‘what if’, by making sure there are clear boundaries put in place.