Thoughts on social media

twitter-social-network-icon-vector_652139I have seen lots of excellent infographics with regards why teachers should make use of social media such as twitter.   This has got me thinking about the question of what we use social media for.

We use it to get access to new ideas, resources and perspectives.   This is the very much about access to and consumption of content.    Social media provides access to a wealth of individuals and the content which they are sharing via social media sites such as twitter, pinterest, personal blogs, etc.

We use social media to curate content of linked topic areas or subjects.   Using sites such as Storify and Paper.Li we can gather content together and re-share with others.    This is particularly useful where a twitter chat or other event has occurred and we want to create a record of the various comments which were made via social media as part of the chat or event.   This is the start of producing our own content, albeit this new content being nothing more than a collection of content produced by others.

We use social media to share our ideas.   This is very much about producing our own original content and sharing with others.

The above three activities were those that came first to my mind however I have recently been also considering a fourth area, being how we engage with others content, the content which we have read.   Through social media we can comment in shortened form via twitter, however we can also comment in a longer more detailed format via blogs, linking back to the blogs of others to which we are referring.

For me social media now occupies a key place in my work and in my ongoing professional learning.    The challenges in hand are very much about getting more of the teachers who currently consume content, to begin contributing content so that the content available becomes more representative of the teachers working in schools all over the world.    The other main challenge is encouraging those teachers who haven’t engaged with social media at all, who therefore are missing out on a wealth of ideas and resources.

I look forward sharing with you!

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Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the Middle East. In addition Gary is a Google and Microsoft Certified Educator.

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