Twitter, as I have come quickly to realize, has become an invaluable tool for me in communicating with authorities in the education system on social media and its uses in the classroom. Last week, I conferred with Susan Spellman Cann, a registered psychologist and department head of counseling at Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary, Alberta. Not only is she a gem in that she is motivated to involve students in social media in the classroom, but she works in the field I wish to study in college. A double treat for me–and it is certain that I will use her knowledge for my own betterment!
Moving past the personal anecdote, the true subject at hand is social media and its beneficial use in the classroom. I do not want to beat a dead horse with the same topic in each of my blog posts, but this subject is single-handedly writing the education system’s fate in 140 characters on Twitter 9,100 times per second, according to Statistic Brain, whose sources include Twitter and the Huffington Post. Now that is a lot of tweets, but who is to say even one-tenth of them are even worth reading? Why is social media in the classroom so important? I have a few reasons of my own, which will be put into my DVDs on the matter, but here is what Susan Spellman Cann had to say:
“Students are already connecting with people all over the world as a result of social media. It is important for students to be involved in a responsible way with social media so that they can learn, grow, and make positive connections that assist students in becoming well-rounded, helpful, responsible global citizens.
As educators, we need to assist students in using social media to make a positive difference in their world and in their life. As educators, we need to assist students to use all technology with integrity in mind. Students need to understand that nothing they say or do online is private. I want students to learn and understand their online identity and act on- and offline with integrity.”
Spellman Cann has many ideas on how educators can accomplish this and has already included a few examples on her blog, which I will post below.
“As school counselors we can integrate Digital Citizenship into assemblies, curriculum, seminars, worshops, and in most schools directly in the classroom. Firstly, teachers and administrators need to use social media themselves so they understand it and their students better. We need to model Digital Citizenship ourselves so that we can help students be the kind of citizens we want them to be. Administrators are the educational leaders of the building and so they too must all have a better understanding of the power of social media.”
Susan Spellman Cann has her own blog at sspellmancann.wordpress.com, which has numerous suggestions on how to use social media in the classroom and updates on how her school has integrated it into their own curriculum. Also, I found her through her Haiku Decks, particularly this one here: http://www.haikudeck.com/p/LL9oHP6Bwj/digital-citizenship-and-you#slide-4
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me at @paige_woodard with your own questions, comments, concerns, or opinions!