In This Post:
- Getting active on social media is another step in building a well rounded network.
- The first step in getting started on social media is deciding what platform is right for you, and making an account.
- It’s important to decide how you plan to utilize social media; personally or professionally.
- Twitter has grown into a great platform for continued discussion and reflection.
- A Twitter Chat is an easy way to connect with a group of people around a central idea.
- On Instagram, don’t just get overwhelmed by scrolling pictures, but dive deeper into the captions (that’s were the real value is often found!).
- Connecting with others is a HUGE component of getting on social media for teachers.
- Consider starting off your social media exploration with a 15 min a day rule (set a timer).
It’s time to get social! Let’s connect. Let’s learn. Let’s grow! But, like anything else, getting social is just a little more then a step away from growing a well rounded network. This process if well worth it! This does not mean getting on to social media is a taxing endeavor – you can do it! But there are a few things to think about while getting started.
So, what are the key steps to consider when diving into social media as a teacher? Let’s explore!
(1) Your Profiles Message
The first step in getting started on social media – make an account! We will dive into the right platform in step two, but regardless of your platform, you need to decide what you want your profile’s message to be.Consider your favorite educational books, keynote speakers, or bloggers. Then, explore who they are connected with. Slowly but surely build your network! Click To Tweet
For example, is your account for personal use or professional use? To be completely honest with you, a well-rounded profile should never be fully one or the other. The fact is, you will come across more relatable people, and form stronger relationships on a professional profile, with an occasional personal post regarding family or a hobby outside of the profession.
The same is true for a personal profile. The likelihood is quite high that throughout your personal posting of family and food, you may touch on news or updates related to your career. All of this is acceptable! However, you must know your main focus – professional or personal?
(2) The Right Platform for You!
Your drive to get social is wonderful, but what platform fits your goals? Consider the following questions to help you set your social media goals. Then, explore which platforms fit your style!
What do you hope to gain from social media?
Who do you hope to connect with?
Why does NOW feel like the right time to become more active on social media?
What are your fears or hesitations?
How do you hope for the platform to support you?
When and where do I want to interact with my social networking site?[scroll down to keep reading]
Now, let’s take a look at just two of the many social media platforms out there for teachers to use to connect, engage, and learn.
Twitter : Looking for rich discussion and links to resources? Twitter is for you! Whether you are hoping to dive into a new idea, or continue your exploration through a topic you are actively using in your classroom, Twitter has grown into a great platform for continued discussion and reflection. Want a great way to connect with others and build your professional learning network (PLN)? Join a Twitter Chat! A Twitter Chat is an easy way to connect with a group of people around a central idea. But get your fingers ready, because these active chats move quickly and hold a great deal of value!
Instagram : Hungry to be inspired by snapshots into the lives of other all stars? Want to be captivated by an image to encourage you to reach further and take larger steps towards your dreams? Instagram is the platform for you! While you need to hunt a bit to really get a full, substance filled experience, they exist! On this platform, don’t just get overwhelmed by scrolling pictures, but dive deeper into the captions (that’s were the real value is often found!). So grab your favorite snap shot and share your story!
(3) Connecting with Others
Connecting with others is a HUGE component of getting on social media, but where to you begin? Step 1, identify the types of things you want on your news feed. Are you interested in scrolling through teacher posts filled with educational resources and innovative ideas, or is your taste more suited for a feed filled with star studded celebrities? My suggestion is to begin your professional profile by connecting with authors you’ve enjoyed reading about. Consider your favorite educational books, keynote speakers, or bloggers. Then, explore who they are connected with. Slowly but surely build your network!
(4) Balancing your Time
A common fear of logging into your new social media account is discovering the right balance of time logged in and moments to be unplugged! So set aside times for networking and time away. Consider starting off your social media exploration with a 15 min a day rule (set a timer). Strive to make this time as purposeful as possible. Engage with others posts, respond to others’ thoughts, and share your story with your network. Then, when the alarm goes off, log off, and set a goal for the following day! You got this!
Regardless of how you intend to make it happen, go get social! There is so much to discover! Once you’ve made your account, connect with me (@RaeHughart) & @TeachBetterTeam on your favorite social media platform. We can be your first followers!
About Rae Hughart
Rae Hughart is a Middle-Level Math and Writing Educator in Illinois and the Director of Training and Development for Progressive Mastery Learning, LLC. In 2017, Rae was honored with the Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni Award – inducting her into the University Hall of Fame.