A recent report announced "American teenagers (13- to 18-year-olds) average about nine hours (8:56) of entertainment media use, excluding time spent at school or for homework." 9 HOURS A DAY! This number is astounding and represents a fundamental trend that schools need to embrace. If we don’t embrace social media as a tool to connect with students, parents and colleagues, we will surely be left behind.
By their own admission though, teachers are wary of social media. In a 2015 Harris poll, 86% of teachers surveyed reported they have NOT integrated social media into their classrooms. Additionally, 62% reported a reluctance to incorporate social media in the future.
Sure, we’ve all seen the media report on teachers who’ve used social media in inappropriate ways. But scandal hits every profession. Just look at the Catholic Church or BP or Volkswagen.
Is it because teachers are intimidated by social media? Perhaps. But just because you don’t know how to use something doesn't mean you shouldn't learn. Remember, there was a day when you didn’t know how to drive a car or cook a meal either.
We believe teachers and administrators simply need training - professional development - on using social media EFFECTIVELY in schools.
Teachers must start teaching in the year we live. A BILLION people check Facebook every day! Twitter has over 300 million users that tweet an average of 6,000 times every second of every day. Students and their parents are using Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, YouTube and other apps to connect with their world while educators sit idly by, afraid to engage.
These social media platforms offer a huge opportunity to meet our core constituents where they are. They allow us to share content, engage in educational discussions, connect with other teachers from around the world, promote school events and school spirit and SO much more.
Technology moves fast and social media is changing the field of education. As teachers, we must adopt or risk irrelevancy.
This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.