Personally I’ve found looking at this is very different from others due of the fact I had no social media before joining university however I understand why GTC highlights and explains appropriate use of social media and I think this is a beneficial booklet. It will aid students who are studying to join the profession because everyone is using it and many have been for years therefore may not be aware/have forgotten how important this is..
What challenges/opportunities you may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media?
I understand that when bringing together a personal and professional presence on social media is difficult due to teachers being ‘normal’ human beings who go out and enjoy themselves or have challenging opinions however personally I have never felt a need in posting my life online. I have never found an interest in posting any personal photos or personal opinions online because I feel it’s only in the interest of my friends and family to see/hear these things therefore I can; discuss topics, have debates or share photos with them. I’m also lucky where I have friends who have a similar mind set to me. Yes they have social media but they rarely post information on it meaning I’m never tagged in anything which would be deemed inappropriate according to GTC. For this reason I don’t find a problem with sharing my social media with pupils; of an appropriate age that is. As a primary teacher I don’t feel it necessary for any pupils I teach to ‘follow’ me on any social media sites. Many, if not all, pupils of the lower school will be without social media and if any of the upper school pupils are starting on social media I don’t feel it would be appropriate being ‘friends’ with me or ‘following’ me on social media. Anything personal which I would care to share with the class I would do so in other ways, not through social media.
In saying this I find Edmodo an extremely useful tool which I used in secondary school. I think this is a real opportunity which I would consider introducing it to children as soon as they start learning IT skills at school, they could make an account where they could discuss their learning and any problems they have came across during their use of technology. I find this would be a way of marrying the personal and professional presence online because teachers will be discussing topics with each other which the children could read and comment on with each person (including the teacher) have profiles like Facebook therefore if there was anything significant that was worth sharing with the pupils it could be done through this. I think this is a safe way of bringing both social media and education together so the teachers and children have an online world which they can share that is; safe, controlled and appropriate. I also think this would excite the children from a young age as they would be learning how to use technology within the class while carrying it on at home; being able to discuss with peers and the teacher which would build enthusiasm. I would definitely introduce this into the upper primary section as it’s a very useful tool for teachers to; post the homework tasks or small tasks which came from a lesson. It also allows the teacher to help and support the children whilst at home. It would allow them to find problem areas that many children are coming across where they could then take 5 minutes to write a post explaining the work for them before it’s due handing in the next day. It would also be/is an amazing way for peers to help and support one another as i found many times when i asked a question it was not the teacher who answered me but a peer. It also has a wonderful feature of the parent being able to have an account where they can track their child’s progress. Personally we did not use this in secondary school as it was only in my 5th year this was introduced and by this point we were responsible for ourselves; not our parents, therefore they weren’t contacted. However I think this would be a brilliant way of involving parents with their child’s learning and development where they can actively be aware.
How are the challenges/opportunities afforded by social media framed? How will you frame things – positive or deficit viewpoint?
The way social media is framed makes it difficult to bring through opportunities using it. However I think that by using it positively to help and support children will eventually change the way it is framed. Social media allows many challenges to arise, with children especially. I don’t feel social media benefits children in primary school as I find the majority of the time it’s unnecessary however when the children are open about having social media and are discussing it within the classroom then I think it allows opportunities for teachers to then discuss it further with them making sure they understand how to use it and what to be aware of. Websites that were linked in Derek’s power point for this were extremely interesting. NSPCC Net Aware was a brilliant resource which I wasn’t even aware existed, after watching the videos in the lecture I decided to read more into it, I think it’s a useful tool which I then send to my mum as I have younger siblings/family members. The website Thinkuknow I found again, to be a brilliant resource which I sent to my little brother to have a look at as he’s just turned 9 years old. I also sent the link to the 14+ section to my sister who is 15 to allow her to get involved, reading and understanding social media a lot more. I think these websites are how the challenges social media brings should be combated. Using these, allowing parents and children to use them so they’re aware of; the different sites, the different activities you can do on them, the problems that can arise from these, how to overcome these problems, how to be safe online, understanding the different terminology before doing anything etc. There’s so much these websites provide, if only more people knew about them! I think it’s important for children to visit these sites and be aware of as much as they can about online social media; the benefits and the dangers. I think the more progress happens with social media the more the way it is framed will change.