Overcoming Fears About Social Media
Do you find social media intimidating or overwhelming or a time waster? Are these fears or reservations preventing you from getting started with social media for professional purposes?
Facebook has been around since 2004 and Twitter began in 2006, but some people still are unsure of the value of social media for work and don’t see a reason for posting or tweeting about their professional selves. In a recent blog post, Tom Murray writes that, even though social media can be difficult to navigate and manage, there are two good reasons for being active on social media for work. One is that it humanizes individuals and helps show the authentic side of people both related to and apart from their educator selves. We can see that people are still growing professionally, learning new things and challenging old ideas, and social media provides opportunities to lead by example as shown in tweets and posts. There is a sense of transparency that helps to create connections with others and the programs, schools, and organizations they are associated with.
The other reason is that social media gives teachers, administrators, and schools a chance to showcase the important work being done by students and staff on a daily basis. Especially in an era of accountability, it is vital to document how schools are doing the work they have been asked to do and to also show how schools are innovating and going beyond their mandate in new and exciting ways. Leveraging social media is a powerful way to showcase schools and demonstrate their value to the communities in which they are situated. Of course, being knowledgeable about privacy issues and school board regulations is key to not generating negative publicity and keeping the messaging positive.
There are a number of great resources at the end of Murray’s post that will help anyone get started with social media in their professional educator life, including examples of individuals and schools that have been at it for a while that can serve as a template for someone new to the enterprise.