Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Impact of Social Media in the Classroom

Today the CollabLab welcomes Joe Bush, a teacher in the Social Studies department at Elk Grove.  Joe can be reached @josephdbush

I was never too fond of the term "social media."  I felt like it was a waste of time or something people did just to see others “like” pictures that were posted.  My perspective changed a great deal when social media avenues such as Twitter and Blogspot were presented in a new and interesting way. At the beginning of my Leadership Through Service Class, Linda Ashida came in and discussed digital leadership and digital footprints. These terms were foreign to me in the first place, but I quickly saw the powerful nature of blogging and tweeting. 

The first step we took in developing a digital footprint for both my students and myself was creating professional twitter accounts. These were to be used to help students connect with teachers, leaders, and each other as a forum to discuss topics with leadership or curate what they have done throughout the year. 
Although it has only been two months, my students and myself have made huge strides in chronicling our successes in class through Twitter (#EGLTS).  In addition, we have all made connections with leaders in the business community who have led us down avenues of positive leadership and growth.  The connections have expanded our worldviews and have helped us to grow into better people and leaders. 

In addition to Twitter, we have also used Blogspot to archive our class successes.  Every other week, students are given a topic to Blog about.  We have the benefit of reading each other’s blogs and commenting on them. This gives the students an authentic audience to share ideas with.  Overall I am very pleased with the use of social media in my class. Students have taken it seriously, we have connected with outside resources that we did not even know existed, and have grown as leaders. 

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