Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not using social media should no longer be an option...

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby) and Nancy Blair (@nancyblair) via the BAM Radio Network about social media and how it is affecting education. I've been a big advocate of social media as a tool not only for professional growth for educators, but also for students and the huge implications for their digital footprint and overall digital presence.

I think @dwight_carter may have said it best when we talk about why BOTH kids and adults are drawn toward social media and technology.

Here are some of the main reasons for using social media as a tool AND vehicle for growth and development:

1) - Social media creates an environment where I am inspired and energized every single day. We all know those days that suck us dry and leave us feeling completely drained and depleted. Social media, whether it be blogs, Twitter or posts read on a Facebook wall, I can very easily and very quickly find inspiration that gives me a boost of energy and positivity. This is probably the most unrealized potential of social media and establishing connections with others.

2) - Social media creates the perfect medium and vehicle for BOTH educators and students to showcase the great many things that are happening in classrooms around the world. If we as educators and students within education can't be our own biggest cheerleaders, then who will be? We need the positive and awesome things we are doing in education spread all over the place, and social media makes this so easy and meets people where they already are spending an increasingly more amount of their time.

3) - Social media and being connected is all about possibility, and with social media the amount of possibility is frankly limitless. The classroom is no longer limited to four walls and the school is no longer the only place kids can learn and educators can teach. The world is now the classroom of the future and being connected via social media opens every single door and window in the house. We are now only limited by our willingness to explore, discover and most importantly, our willingness to take a chance.

4) - Lastly, due to my use of social media, both my wife and I were saved on our way home from a recent trip to Chicago due to this tip via Foursquare.

Just think how bad this could have been if we didn't have this information in advance! #crisisaverted

On a more serious note, I know there are great educators who are not connected and who are not using social media, and frankly that is quite a shame. The great things they are doing need to be shared with others, and I can say without hesitation that social media and being connected would make them even better educators.

The future is bright and we need leaders in education who are an integral part of this bright future. We don't need educators sitting on the sidelines hoping this will pass and become just another fad. We need brave, courageous and inspirational leaders who can and will embrace the evolution of constant change in our society...