Preceding my trip to Stanford, finding administrators and teachers to discuss social media with me was a little challenging. My follower numbers on Twitter were minimal (though they aren’t as high as I want them to be now) and scoping out potential prospects to contribute to my blog was tiresome.
Now, however, I have ample amount of assistance from a variety of people and I am ever so thankful. My job to bring social media to the education system is made so much easier when I have people offering their opinions and examples of social media in their own classrooms, as this broadens my database and credibility for my mission and, especially, my DVD.
Last week I made conversation with numerous individuals passionate about embedding social media into the education system. Today I am posting an interview with Brad Currie, K-8 Supervisor of Instruction and Middle School Dean of Students for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. I connected with him through Twitter, of course, and he shared the unique ways he has observed other schools encourages social media usage in the classroom.
“The use of social media in the school setting is a great way for students to stay connected with important classroom information and make sense of their own learning. For example, I know of several school across America that utilize Twitter hashtags to answer questions in class and backchannel during a particular learning experience.”
I have found in my own research that this is a common trend. Teachers will use their last name and subject in hashtags such as #smithapbio to differentiate their class from another’s. In Innovations, we use #Innovations or #FCHSInnovations to start a trend of the information we are posting on Twitter. Currie also mentioned another use of social media (such as Pinterest) that I have not yet thought of.
“There is also a trend in education that has schools leveraging the power of social media through Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, to communicate with stakeholders and promote student and staff achievements.”
I love the idea of a school corporation collaborating with individual students to celebrate their accomplishments. I believe this would conjure more support for social media in the classrooms and unify the school district.
Currie ended his interview with a wonderful point that I want to outline for all of my readers. Teachers are the mediums between students and success. Without teachers, students would not be provided the information that will make them successful. And I use medium lightly, as I do believe teachers are more than just the funnel between students and success, as great teachers help to shape their students into great people. I am very grateful to have met amazing teachers in my school career that not only care that the students pass certain tests and meet certain standards, but also maintain a connection with their students to assist them in meeting necessary life goals and learning lessons in and outside of the classroom. Here is what Currie said that inspired me:
“Educators who are true lead learners are staying connected with each other through social media and sharing best practices resources and ideas. This collaboration enables students to benefit directly and provides an atmosphere that highlights a true love of learning.”
Though it takes more time out of the day for personal interests, teachers who enable students on a daily basis encourage much more than a simple A on a test. They inspire students to follow through with their dreams, passions, and life goals. They uncover new talents and expose creativity and originality hiding in every child. Teachers inspire success. Teachers encourage happiness. Teachers teach well-roundedness.
This is my goal. To assist students in yet another step of their lives. Though I am not a hard-working teacher with the degrees to back me up, I want to encourage students to take care of their futures by censoring what they post online. As Matthew Schott once told me, what you put on the Internet is a zombie. It lives forever.
If you are interested in learning more about Brad Currie, you can follow him on Twitter at @bcurrie5 or visit his website www.bradcurrie.net.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @paige_woodard!