Teaching keeps you busy, so you might hesitate to add social media to the mix. But going online can simplify some of your tasks as a teacher. It can also benefit the kids and their families. Here are some ways to use social media responsibly as a teacher.
Teach Students About Responsible Social Media Use
As a teacher, you are a role model for your students. Your students face online dangers, such as cyberbullying and sharing too much information through social media. You can serve as a role model for using social media appropriately. Be very thoughtful with the information you post on social media. Use your presence on social media as an example for your students.
Blogging About Activities
Teachers can use blogs to keep parents updated on things their kids have done in school. It’s a great way to recap field trips, special projects or new units you are starting with the kids. The parents get a glimpse of what their kids do all day. After all, kids aren’t always willing to share a lot of details about their days.
You can also blog to connect with other teachers. A teaching blog gives you a way to share your classroom organization, assessment methods and projects.
If the parents of your students are on Twitter, you can use it to send out quick reminders to them. Because the Twitter messages are so short, it helps you keep the message simple. Parents can get the important information they need instantly. They can also tweet to you about their kids or to ask you questions about a project or deadline.
If the parents approve, you can use Facebook to share photos with your families. It’s best to set up a private group for sharing the photos. This protects the identity of the kids and their families. Some parents are protective of their children and their images. Get written permission from parents before posting any photos online. You can also stick with photos of projects or the classroom rather than actual student faces. Or you can blur the faces in the images to protect the identity of the students.
Get the kids online by posting assignments or supplemental activities on your teacher social media accounts. You might send the kids on an online scavenger hunt. Or post a video of yourself on YouTube that relates to something you’re learning at school.
If you’re willing to share some of your after school time with your kids, you can set up a website, private Facebook group or forum where students can ask you questions. This is a great way for kids to get quick help on a homework assignment. You can answer the question so they can complete the work on time. It’s also a good way for you to check in on your students and make sure they understand the work.