Learning Together

Learning Together

Friday, 19 February 2016

Activity 7:​Social media in teaching and professional development.

Create a blog post where you discuss your views on social media use in teaching and in professional development.

Our children are 'digital natives' - born during the age of digital technology and so familiar with computers and the Internet from birth. The digital tools that are reshaping our economy make more sense to young digital natives than to members of older generations. It is  a part of their home life and social life. Asking children to come to school to power down is not in touch with their daily life.

As mentioned in Office of Ed Tech. (2013), collaboration has always been a method and expectation applied within the teaching profession, and now technology has broadened our opportunities to connect and collaborate further than before through the availability of the internet. Being a connected educator offers a unique opportunity to research, learn and improve our teaching practice, interest and knowledge. 

We live in a super busy era, parents working full time with their children in before and after school care. Social networking provides our school with a platform to connect with parents through Facebook, Twitter and an interactive email newsletter. 
Social networking provides an opportunity for our students to share their learning and daily interactions through personal Google Blogs, GAFE, SeeSaw and our school website. 
Our senior children have a one to one Chromebook allocation which provides access to GAFE tools to share their learning. Our junior children have a one to one iPad allocation which also provides GAFE tools, but more importantly video, photo, audio and writing tools to enhance their learning experiences. This year we are implementing a new digital portfolio - SeeSaw. Recently we have been exploring artists and using iPad apps to re-create our own art works and sharing this learning journey via See Saw.

It is becoming more apparent that educators need to be up-skilled, not only with the use of technology but also with technological pedagogy. I believe is a necessity in the 21st century to be a connected educator. It eliminates the feelings of isolation, the 'I don't know what to do' situations, and provides support and knowledge via online feedback, suggested trial and error examples and expert information that has the potential to transform our teaching and learning practices. Our classroom teaching and learning experiences are magnified through social networking. This has a similar impact on the students we teach.

This has all added a new dimension for schools with the added responsibility to teach, and ensure students are aware of, the social responsibilities required when connecting to the the web and in becoming responsible online citizens. We are now having to investigate ways for students to be aware of on-line personal safety - how to;  

  1. protect oneself from online predators
  2. protect oneself from online bullying
  3. demonstrate appropriate online etiquette 
  4. monitor what they are sharing 
  5. control who they are sharing with

New Zealand schools are fortunate to have a government that has already acknowledged this as a priority and which has addressed this by installing a fibre network, providing ultra-fast broadband, wireless networks and establishing through Network for Learning, online security filtering for all New Zealand schools. 
Our challenge is to ensure children know how to keep themselves safe in their homes without the security blanket available at their school. 
Beyond this, we need to teach children discernment - the ability to judge what is worthy and what is not. This will happen - all we need is time.


Office of Ed Tech. (2013, Sep 18). Connected Educators. [video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=216&v=K4Vd4JP_DB8
Tvoparents. (2013, May 21). Using Social Media in the Classroom.[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riZStaz8Rno

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