I don’t really use social media a lot in my teaching. I have found an awesome loophole though. If I really dislike a certain social media ‘thang’ that my students are doing or saying, I will use it in class, or in a post to them on our schools LMS (schoology). The resulting backlash of horrified, embarrassed disgust ensures that the offending behaviour is banished forever. For example, one poster with “cash me ousside, howbow dah?” means that I don’t have to put up with it anymore. It’s really quite remarkable. One of our staff members ‘dabbed’ at assembly and you could almost hear the crunching noises as a fad magically disappeared from the schools student-lexicon of approved actions or words.
Mindlab has opened my eyes to the possibility of blogging and reading the thoughts and stories of my fellow professionals. This online activity, mainly organised through google+, has made me think far more deeply about my own teaching. It’s opened up my classroom to the vicarious pleasures of the ways other people operate and I am sure that my teaching has improved as a result.
Mostly though, I have been thinking of ways to use social media for the benefit of the students. I canvassed my junior classes and they thought it would be fun (read ‘beneficial for engagement’) if we did a poetry unit that used all the elements of the many social media platforms. They came up with: Twitter poems – 140 characters exactly; Snapchat Pwith Haiku; Instagram picture with poem; Facebook “Found” poems; lots more……I guess the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations.
I include a Y9 haiku as an example…..she took a pic here at school then snapchatted it with her poem…all about the fleeting nature of spring. Kinda nice.
So the challenge for me is to use Professional Online Social Networks to further enhance my teaching and the experience my students enjoy in the classroom. I’ve got a Y10 student who is pretty exceptional, and she is some way ahead of her peers in producing work so I hooked her up (is that an expression?) with an online writers guild that reads, discusses, and critiques each others work. For the first few days I kept a wary eye on the postings, but so far it’s all been very positive and convivial. I will keep my eye on it though because it raises that question of what we are exposing our students to when we set them loose in the online world. The student, by the way, is loving it and she has stopped badgering me for constant feedback, and I can now spend more time with the strugglers….winner, winner, chicken dinner!