Monday, September 14, 2015

Social Media for Leading and Learning

Written collaboratively by the Collab Lab's ITF / DTC team 

Social media has a significant impact on the engagement, influence, and connections students can make in their educational and professional lives.  

Linda Ashida presented the countless benefits of using social media to the students of Joe Bush's Leadership Through Service class. In this slide presentation, she first addressed the importance of being responsible digital citizens, and she shared examples of how students can protect their digital presence, or their digital tattoo. Linda emphasized the ways that students can build a positive digital presence to create connections with others, to learn, and to create future opportunities related to their academic and professional interests, as well as their passions. 

After the brief presentation on digital citizenship, students created a professional Twitter account.  Linda shared the importance of determining a simple and succinct - yet professional - Twitter handle and profile, in order to facilitate meaningful connections and learning opportunities. 

Linda also gave examples of how to tweet meaningful content so students can share their work with a broader audience, and how they could also think of Twitter as a micro-blog allowing them to document their experiences throughout the year.  Storify can be used to curate a sampling of tweets related to a common theme or event.  Here is an example of a Storify of tweets from Joe Bush that reflects the experience of EGLTS during the first weeks of school. Staff and students can do the same for any of their courses. If students and staff tweet routinely, they can easily build a portfolio of their experiences to reflect upon and share with others.

After establishing their Twitter accounts, students set up their own blogs on Blogger. These blogs will give students an avenue to share their thoughts and experiences in their leadership class throughout the year.

Using these tools will give students an opportunity to share their work with an authentic audience, build a collaborative learning network, receive feedback, and extend their learning in meaningful ways beyond the classroom. Furthermore, they will grow their a positive digital presence in ways that will inevitably lead to academic and professional opportunities long after they graduate from Elk Grove. 

Please watch for the students' Tweets and Blogger posts this year by following their class hashtag: #EGLTS.  Just as Linda encouraged them to engage with others, we hope you will engage with them to encourage them in their academic and professional pursuits!

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