On Tuesday I had the proud opportunity to lead a presentation and animated Q&A forum surrounding social networks and their value in both the classroom and as a form of professional development. The room was shared by classroom teachers, guidance counselors, and teacher’s aides with a range of different experiences surrounding twitter (though nearly all were on facebook!)
I began with Twitter, discussing the variety of tweet topics out there using users such as @LanceArmstrong, @BarackObama, @DunkinDonuts, and @WillRich45 (the later a widely respected edu/tech guru.) Tweetdeck was introduced as a way to organize what can quickly become a disconnected stream of thoughts from your followers and its value was immediately witnessed as two educators welcomed my audience to the twitter world (thanks @solivo11 and @MagistraM)
But the real buzz was around facebook and my personal intentions to use Facebook advertising “pages” (as opposed to groups or profiles) to interject learning into our student’s and their family’s social networks.
The pages and presentation were met with strong support from fellow staff members. I am excited to use facebook in the classroom almost daily. My intention is to have facebook-using students who become “fans” of my pages to post main ideas or unanswered questions about the day’s lesson on the page – forming a mini-feed of the class activities and thinking. These posts will be supplemented by exciting science videoclips and current event articles in the field of science.
There is no telling how (un)successful this project may be. Regardless I anticipate this being a tremendous learning experience for students, getting them to think about social networks in a different way while opening up opportunities and a forum for kids, parents, and teachers to discuss social profiling issues such as internet safety and what should and should not be posted online.
See my presentation wiki at: http://sites.google.com/site/musselmanpd/social-networking
Special thanks to mashable.com for their excellent articles on Twitter and Facebook that have helped me shape these visions of an online professional community and great online extension of the classroom!