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As someone recently known as

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As someone recently known as "she-who-tweets-with-kindergarten," I am obviously in favour of using social media in developmentally appropriate ways with young students. That said, I have to call you on a deliberately misleading headline. "Toddlers" is generally understood to refer to children aged 3. I think we can all agree that children under 3 have no business engaging in social media, nor do children that young appear in this article. The headline is inflammatory and inaccurate.

Thanks for sharing this great

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Thanks for sharing this great article about children and how to begin integrating social media in the classroom. I have put a link to this article on my blog.

Communications & Instruction at EdTechTeacher

Hi Annette. There are

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Hi Annette.

There are definitely concerns with putting too much information about children on social media. While I didn't write about it in the article, I do feel that the school culture also plays an enormous role in whether or not teachers can successfully integrate social media into their curriculum. One suggestion would be to model the communication and collaboration skills that we hope our students will emulate online by creating safe opportunities in the physical world. Much like the teachers at Trinity created "blog walls", I have seen other schools use whiteboards on the wall to illustrate a "chat room" or dashed lines on a white board to teach 140 character tweets.

I hope that offers some thoughts on less threatening ways to begin to introduce the concepts into the curriculum. Thank you for the thoughtful response.

Beth

While I see many dangers for

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While I see many dangers for young kids on social media like other commenters have posted, I think it's a great opportunity to teach children how to be safe online. It has to go hand in hand, and in doing so, I believe we can reinforce our children's ability to be critical of the information they encounter. It's a global approach that encompasses the internet media as a whole.

Regardless, we have many challenges ahead and I wish my country (Switzerland) would face them instead of putting them on the back burner.

Kind regars,
Annette from Geneva
http://www.studybenefits.com

Communications & Instruction at EdTechTeacher

Stephanie and Robert. You

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Stephanie and Robert.

You both make great points about needing to balance screen-time with face-to-face time. While introducing social media at an early age may not completely prevent some of the issues that can occur at later ages, I don't think it can hurt either.

Karen Lirenman did a wonderful EduSlam a few days ago on using Twitter with her elementary students - http://eduslam.me/2013/08/01/episode-1-twitter-in-the-elementary-classroom/ - that may be of interest.

I co-wrote this article - http://www.edudemic.com/2012/10/evolution-of-education/ - with a colleague last fall who teaches high school. He calls much of this the "Anomie Problem" as students are trying to create social rules for social media without adult influence or modeling. It's that challenge that makes it all the more critical for us, as elementary teachers, to introduce social media to younger students in ways that are developmentally appropriate.

Thanks for your feedback!
Beth

1st grade teacher from Bozeman, MT

When I initially started

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When I initially started reading your post, I wasn't sure what to think. We all know that kids already have too much screen time. Unfortunately, this is not going to change anytime soon so why not utilize technology to help our students connect globally? I love the idea of scaffolding their learning with "blog walls". We are charged with guiding our students in the learning process and by implementing social media in our classrooms, we have the power to model the appropriate uses. My first graders are already very technologically literate and the community in which I teach is very globally aware. After reading your post, I'm excited to try out some of your ideas! Thanks!

Third Grade Teacher

I can imagine parents would

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I can imagine parents would enjoy reading a tweet from their child’s classroom each day. These 140 characters would provide the parents with a little information about what their child did that day and be a conversation starter.

Children need to be taught about the dangers of oversharing and the permanence of what is on the internet. Having the mapped out blog provides the opportunity for students to understand that anyone walking down the hall can read what they have written. This is an extremely creative way to get students enthused about writing.

Secondary Math Teacher & Intermediate Math Coach

Great article and great job,

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Great article and great job, Mrs. Wideen!

I think getting kids connected in a way that redefines the way we teach will allow all students to succeed.

Looking forward to getting my kids fully connected by way of individual blogs this coming September!

Communications & Instruction at EdTechTeacher

I don't see this as an

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I don't see this as an either-or situation. Students do need to develop their voice in offline as well as online situations.

As for having all social media blocked in your school, Patrick Larkin wrote a great post a few weeks ago regarding the "Social Media" dilemma - http://edtechteacher.org/blog/2013/06/the-social-media-dilemma-facing-sc...

Communications & Instruction at EdTechTeacher

Stephanie, I think you make

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Stephanie, I think you make an excellent point. If we teach and model appropriate behavior at a younger age then we might be able to curb some of the inappropriate behavior that occurs later on.

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