As it should be, social media and technology can be an intimidating territory for educators. Currently, 80% of teachers use social media venues for personal or professional reasons. All professionals are held to a high standard online, however, for educators, those standards are even greater. For those who do not work in education, it can be a hard idea to grasp, as technology has changed the world in countless ways. However, for a teacher or a professor, a quiet classroom filled with learning can quickly lead to a top news story within minutes, a job lost, or a world turned upside down.
As teachers, the concern and proper use of social media is not without due cause. We have all seen the stories; inappropriate relationships developing through text messages, “bad teacher” websites, and the ongoing disagreements between parents, unions, public and private schools. In addition, young students now have the ability to review teachers online. For example, sixth-grade students can write reviews of their middle school teachers on sites like www.ratemyteachers.com.
If educators do not create their own digital reputations, someone else will.
Furthermore, without technologically savvy role models in the classroom, youth may not be prepared for their futures, a place where technology lives daily in personal and professional life.
Digital communication and social media outlets are here to stay. Modeling positive digital citizenship must be a priority at home, at school and in the workplace.
In school, many students are missing out on the digital skills they need to be successful in their futures. There is a great dichotomy of thought in education about technology. Many of these issues stem from a concern of undermining pedagogy, lack of resources, training and simply feeling overwhelmed. In some walks of education, technology is still facing a wall of resistance, leaving educators with a false image that is ingrained and paralyzing. These fears lead to a picture of unrealistic and unfounded digital gaps for students.
However, the more teachers know about technology, the better they can serve their students in the digital world. In addition, teachers could also embark on new careers, discover opportunities and network with others in the field.
Teaching digital citizenship must be a priority.
Here are some excellent curriculum tools teachers can use today:
Teachers can also find excellent Twitter chats to grow your personal learning network. Please see this Twitter education chat schedule.
LinkedIn and Twitter can help educators find a safe place to network. Below are some facts about LinkedIn and how the platform is different than other social media networks.
1. LinkedIn is a professional business and digital social media network.
2. LinkedIn should not be used for personal use. It is not equivalent to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any of the other applications that exist today. However, used correctly for communication, these tools can assist teachers and their students as well.
3. Educators have full control over whom they connect with and the groups they join.
4. Educators will find fascinating groups on LinkedIn, from preschool through higher education. The conversations and personal learning networks grow every day.
5. Teachers can post their own articles and share their work with their network.
6. Educators can find career opportunities within the teaching field or outside the classroom; there are hundreds of companies, institutions and nonprofits listed with relevant job openings.
7. Teachers in search of new career opportunities now have a place to network and show off their unique skills through writing on this platform. Educators can be found right here on LinkedIn.
8. Educators need a professional online presence. Teachers are professionals, and according to Alison Doyle, a minimum of 60% of jobs are now found via social networking.
9. Resisting technology will leave teachers out of the game in the short and long run.
10. Most importantly: Educators must be an example for the students they teach. If they are not part of the biggest professional network, where most people find jobs through networking, how will our students know or understand how to use the tool? Who will model this technology for our future?
Most students know about Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, however, these networks are not career focused. LinkedIn is career and content focused, with amazing leaders from all walks of education coming on board.
Teachers represent the present and model the current world. From home to the classroom, and in our communities, we must model the future for our youth.
If you would like to learn how to use LinkedIn for your own life and career advancement, please check out my new book, LinkedIn for Teachers. This book is 20 pages long and covers a great deal of information I’ve learned over the past four years using LinkedIn to change my career path.
LinkedIn for Teachers:
Why All Teachers Need a LinkedIn Profile Now
Set it Up, Make Connections and Change your Path
Only $3.99 for the first edition
This is the only book you will find on the market from a former teacher who changed her path using LinkedIn.
Over the past four years:
- I've landed every single job and writing opportunity because of LinkedIn. My career story has been featured on LinkedIn and has been shared around the world over 500,000 times.
- I've built an education professional group with over 11,000 members.
- I've turned down jobs instead of having to chase them.
- I've interviewed and worked with some of the biggest names in education.
- This book was specifically created for educators.
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