ShowMe App

This week in EC&I 831, we were tasked with finding a tool or app that we have not used before that could be used to make learning visible. To find a tool or app, I started with a google search of “best tech apps for teachers” where I found RedByte’s Top 17 Best Apps for Teachers and Educators. The tops apps listed included: Kahoot, Google Classroom, Teach Lean Lead, Seesaw, Slack, Remind, and more. I have already used Kahoot, Slack, and Remind, and attempted Google Classroom this year, I know many of my colleagues use Seesaw, and I didn’t think Teach Learn Lead was the type of tool I wanted to explore this week. Upon further searching I found the Educational App Store with a list of a wide variety of educational apps. Here is where I found out about the app ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

This is a free app available for download through the Apple App Store with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard turns your iPad into a personal interactive whiteboard that also allows you to create voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online or keep them private. In addition to using the interactive whiteboard and creating your own voice-over tutorials, you can also search existing tutorials that have been created by other users. 

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FEATURES
– Voice-record
– Multiple brush colours
– Enter text
– Pause and erase
– Import pictures from your photo library, built-in camera, or web image search
– Import documents as pictures from Dropbox, or Google drive
– Create video from any document
– Unlimited lesson length
– Free to upload and share your recordings with friends
– Easy embedding for sharing anywhere
– Manage students with Groups

SHOWME PREMIUM
ShowMe Premium is an auto-renewing monthly or yearly subscription which unlocks all ShowMe features. For just $9.99 a month or $89.99 a year:
– Upload up to 300 hours of ShowMes
– Post privately
– Create study groups
– Markup and share any documents in groups
– Import documents into ShowMe
– Search and import images from the web
– Download your video files
– Create student accounts
– Create courses

I was very impressed with this app and all of the options available for free. It is user friendly and has a giant library of pre-made content by other users. The only negative I found was that I was not able to find a way to edit my ShowMe once I completed it so if I had made a mistake I’m not sure how I could go back and fix it without completely redoing it. Unfortunately many of the beneficial features require the premium account, such as creating student accounts or saving videos privately. 

This app could be applied both personally and in instructional situations to document learning and growth. Personally you could use this app as an interactive whiteboard such as keeping a grocery list, leaving notes for your family, or us it like an agenda to keep track of important due dates. Instructionally I could see this app being used in a flipped classroom where the teacher creates instructional videos and voice records the lesson for students to watch outside of class time then during class they could review the ShowMe while working on assignments in class. ShowMe could also be used by students to save class notes and submit their notes so the teacher could record voice feedback for them. I would also use this app to search the existing videos created by others, I found some very informative Accounting lessons that I could use with my students or encourage them to use on their own. 

Here is a quick sample that I made: http://www.showme.com/sh?h=Wm80dWa

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Knowledge is Obsolete

This week’s writing prompt is: How do you take up teaching in a world where knowledge is becoming obsolete? What steps should/could we as educators take in relation to bringing social networks into the classroom? How do we balance the “moral imperative” to educate children to succeed in a rapidly changing world (see the NCTE definition of 21st century literacies) with concerns around student safety and privacy?

To answer these questions one must first consider what “knowledge is becoming obsolete” means. I had a conversation with a coworker about what this statement means and how we as educators feel about it. We concluded that knowledge in the traditional context has indeed become obsolete and that the role of educators has changed from merely transferring information to students to learning how to interpret, utilize, and apply such information. This conversation was reinforced by Pavan Arora’s TedXTalk Knowledge is obsolete, so now what?

Arora explains that 65% of elementary school students will have jobs that currently do not exist but that job types have been changing since the beginning of time. Knowledge is changing faster than ever before, it is growing, access is increasing, and we must learn to assess and apply that knowledge. No matter what new information and data gets thrown at us, we must figure out how to use it. As educators, we need to teach the application of knowledge rather than the knowledge itself.

One of my favourite TedTalks is by Cameron Harold title Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs. His message is what I believe education needs to revolve around – encouraging students to use their creativity and promoting their strengths as opposed to focusing on their weaknesses. It is important for students to learn and grow through experiences and creative thinking not just through textbook learning.

John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler reinforce these ideas in their article Minds on Fire; Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0 In this article the authors point out that learning has shifted from the Cartesian perspective of focusing on the content of a subject (“I think, therefore I am”) to a focus of the learning activities and human interactions around which that content is situated (“we participated, therefore we are”). Learning has shifted from learning about or explicit instruction and understanding to learning to be or tacit learning.

Bringing social networks into the classroom can be done easier than ever and options will continue to evolve. From YouTube videos, to Twitter chats and hashtags, to Skype sessions with other classes or professionals, there is no shortage of ways to connect our students with social learning. For example, last year our grade 9 science students were provided the opportunity to Skype with a real professional astronaut where they learned more about his life, his experiences and training as an astronaut, and were able to ask him questions. This type of learning experience never would have been an option 20 years ago, but as our connected world continues to grow so do the learning opportunities for our students.

As a part-time career counselor I am constantly faced with the challenge of helping to prepare our students for careers that have yet to be invented. In March 2018, RBC launched a Canada-wide research report titled Humans Wanted; How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption. 

This report and video showcase the skills that our students require to be successful in any future career path. Instead of preparing students for specific careers, we must teach them the skills which they can utilize in any career path such as technical skills, management skills, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and analytic skills.

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Major Digital Project – So Many Options!

Since the EC&I 831 course started I have been struggling to choose a topic for my Major Digital Project. I am a notorious procrastinator and having choice in my assignments makes the procrastination even worse, thus I am here the day before this blog post is due trying to determine what I may want to do for my project. I have come up with a few ideas so far but haven’t been able to make a decision yet.

Option A: Undertake a major digital project that involves the integration of social media in teaching practices such as “the design, implementation, and assessment of a project that integrates a social networking tool into the classroom (e.g, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc).”

  • This semester I am teaching Entrepreneurship 30. I am planning for my class to brainstorm, plan, run, and liquidate their own student-run ventures this semester and I would love to incorporate the use of social media in the student businesses. I would have to learn more about current social media platforms that teens are using (Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, VSCO, etc) and how businesses use these tools to market to teens. Social media marketing is invaluable in 2019 and a vital part of Entrepreneurship.  Once I’ve done my research (A Guide to Social Media Marketing for Business in 2019) I would have to consider how I would assign the use of social media in the student-run companies and how I would assess such use. I love the idea of incorporating my Major Digital Project into my current teaching practices in a way that is useful for both my students and myself, but I still have a lot of things to consider before potentially implementing this idea. There are definitely a lot of concerns with social media in the classroom, many of which we covered through our collaborative slides about social media platforms last class, such as confidentiality, privacy, cyber bullying, etc.

 

Option B: “Based on the idea that individuals are now more able to learn and share online, choose something significant that you would like to learn, and share your progress openly in an online space.” I was inspired by Brooke’s idea to poll her Instagram followers for project ideas and decided to try that myself. My followers’ answers weren’t quite as creative as Brooke’s were, but there were a lot of great ideas!

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All of the suggestions revolved around three main themes which I had conveniently been thinking of already:

  • Language – I love to travel! All of my family, friends, and social media followers know this (my Instagram is made up of 90% travel pictures and 10% memes) so it was no surprise that a main suggestion theme was something to do with travel. Learning a new language is something I have really been considering. I will be taking a group of students to Greece this Easter so it would be helpful to learn Greek, I have been to Spain and Portugal a couple of times and would love to go back so Spanish or Portuguese would be beneficial, and of course it is a staple to know French when living in Canada. I have dabbled with using apps such as Duolingo in the past but have never been dedicated enough to stick with it. This learning project would give me the motivation and time commitment to actually follow-through with learning a new language. I would do this through the use of Duolingo, audiobooks, YouTube, and any other resources I could find such as free online courses.
  • Physical Activity – I have never had a great relationship with running. I enjoy playing sports but I have always considered running a form of punishment (probably because running lines IS a punishment) and have never understood how people enjoy running. I could use this project to learn how to run properly and maybe even how to enjoy it – perhaps through a couch to 5k program that I could use an app for or other online resources. Another physical activity that was suggested to me was yoga. I have only done a few casual yoga sessions and would love to try more. Yoga is a great options because there are plenty of formal classes but also lots of online videos, apps, and tools that I could use to learn the basics.
  • Cooking/Baking – I enjoy cooking and baking but I rarely make time for either. I would love to learn more about cooking and/or baking. Although I meal prep every week, I always follow recipes. I would love to dedicate the time to experiment with new techniques and create my own recipes. I also don’t know much about nutrition and the nutritional values that are in or should be in the food I make. This project could be an opportunity for me to learn more about nutrition and incorporate it in my meal planning and cooking routines. I never make time for baking even though I consider it a relaxing activity for myself and I love to give away the baked goods that I make. Another option for this project could be learning cake or cookie decorating, or trying different baking techniques and recipes.

Honestly at this stage in the semester I am not totally sure which direction I want to go with this project yet. I think I would enjoy any of these options and have the resources to be able to choose any. All of these options would require a major commitment on my part and I would be able to assess and document my learning along the way. At the moment I am considering Option A the most, once I can conceptualize how I would create and assess the use of social media with my students. Social media marketing is a major aspect of Entrepreneurship and I believe I would learn just as much or more from my students as they would learn from me through this project.

Any feedback or suggestions are welcome and appreciated!

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How Social Media Affects Me

Wikipedia (2019) defines social media as “interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.” Social media has, and currently still does, affect my life both personally and professionally. I have grown up with social media and currently use it on a daily basis.

My first real experience with social media was with MSN Messenger when I was in elementary and high school. This was a primary form of communication among my friends and one of the best ways to stay connected with new people we met. I became intrigued by the internet and especially by human behaviour online. In high school I began dabbling in blogging through a livejournal. It seemed as though as I was advancing through high school, social media was also evolving through its early stages. Next came Hi5 and MySpace as my friends and I began to get cell phones and were able to stay in contact through texting. University brought the usage of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and LinkedIn.

I learned quickly that what is posted online stays online and that one must be cautious of what they post. This message was ingrained in us as university students. As I advanced through my Bachelor of Education degree I was consistently reminded to be careful what I post on Facebook and that I should create a positive professional digital footprint through the creation of Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. These tools helped me to create and connect with an entire network of people who helped me professionally. Today I am a member of a number of Business Educator Facebook groups where I am able to collaborate with and share lessons with educators from across North America. I also use YouTube videos in my classroom on a regular basis – there is no shortage of amazing business clips and videos that match with concepts we cover in class. One of my favourite videos to show is the Accounting Rap (created by Colin Dodds to teach students about the basics of accounting)

Personally I use Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat on a daily basis. These social media platforms allow me to stay in contact with my personal network of friends and family as well as follow dog memes.
https://giphy.com/search/internet-dog

Social media provides me the opportunity to stay connected with my friends who live around the world and my family members who live away. For example, this summer I was able to take an amazing trip to the Canadian East Coast to visit friends who I have met at various stages of my life and stayed in contact with through the use of social media.

Although there are numerous positive aspects of social media, there are unfortunately also negatives. Everything posted online stays online and I have seen those around me be involved in cyberbullying issues, catfishing, and some who have even lost their jobs for things they had posted online. In my opinion the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks, but it is imperative to understand the tools we are using and how to use them safely and appropriately as well as the potentially consequences that may come along with them.

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First Year Teaching Survival

June… it is now June… how did this happen?

So here I sit… one day of regular classes left, 2 days away from the beginning of finals, 9 days away from from the grade 12 grad, my to-do list is quite lengthy, my marking is piling in, June 28th is my official last day of my first year of teaching, and now, after reading Kailee Brennan’s blog, it is time to reflect on this whirlwind of a year.

It all started with a phone call, an interview, and a job offer right around this time last year. I was ecstatic to be offered my first teaching job – a full time replacement contract teaching majority in my subject area, at the school I had just completed my internship at. I spent nearly two weeks in my classroom before classes began… cleaning, organizing, re-organizing, putting up posters, re-organizing, and trying to create the most welcoming, knowledge-rich environment I could.

The first semester was almost a blur, spending late nights and most weekends at the school planning, marking, and coaching soccer. I was relieved when the second semester began and I was teaching 2 classes I had taught in the first semester, I knew exactly what I wanted to keep the same and what needed to change. The second semester was also my opportunity to spread my wings and teach outside of my subject area, such as my rotation teaching Commercial Cooking 20, Psychology 20, English 9, and cooking and sewing to grade 9s. I was also a full-fledged head coach of the senior girls basketball team.

As with any teaching job, my first year had it’s ups and downs, the good days and the bad, the aha moments and the “why did I willingly choose this career?” moments… but as the year comes to an end and I look back, I truly enjoyed my first year of my teaching career. As Kailee said in her post, the first few months of teaching were all-consuming but it got easier. Eventually I didn’t have to go in on weekends or stay late into the evening, though I ended up spending most evenings and weekends coaching anyway, it helped that I didn’t have to do a ton of planing and marking on top of it.

I knew that it was only a one year deal when I signed my contract, but I must admit that I will be quite sad to leave this place. This building has been my second home for the past year… I even keep a stash of snacks and an extra coffee cup in my desk drawer.

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Some of the highlights of my first year of teaching:
-assistant coaching a wonderful soccer team
-attending the STF New Teacher Conference, Project CRISS, SBTA Conference, and TEDxRegina
-History Jeopardy review games
-using Monopoly to help teach Accounting
-the Accounting Debit Credit rap
-having my desk covered in tin foil as a Christmas prank
-entering my first team in the SBTA Business Case Competition (one team finished 4th)
-Entrepreneurship class venture donating over $400 to charity
-head coaching my first senior girls basketball team, a heart-stopping overtime victory in conferences, and advancing to regionals
-working with a phenomenal staff and teaching some unbelievable students

 

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I became a teacher because I wanted to inspire. I don’t know that I inspired anyone this year… I was merely happy to just survive but I know that this year will help me to inspire in the future.

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Reflections of a First Year Teacher

Well it is safe to say that I have neglected this blog for far too long.

In April 2012 I finished my final semester of university and in June 2012 officially convocated with my Bachelor of Education degree with a major in Business Education and a minor in Social Studies. I also received my Administration Certificates Level I & II. Shortly after convocating I was fortunate to receive two wonderful job offers and accepted a temporary contract teaching at the school I completed my internship at.

I have now spent the past six months working as a full time Business Education, History, and prep coverage teacher. The first semester consisted of teaching two Accounting 10/20 split classes, History 10, and History 20, as well as assistant coaching the girls soccer team. We are now two week in to the second semester and so far it is consisting of: History 10, Entrepreneurship 30, History 20, and two period of prep coverage where I will be teaching History 10, Psychology 20, Commercial Cooking 20, Practical and Applied Arts 9, and English 9. Prep coverage consists of teaching another class for 30 instructional hours to provide the regular teacher with the appropriate prep time as allocated in our local agreement.

Over the past six months I feel like I have learned a tremendous amount about teaching, learning, and education in general. I’ve spent countless hours at the school planning lessons, marking assignments, decorating my classroom, and coaching. There have been times of feeling extremely overwhelmed, and times of great satisfaction. I truly believe that a teacher must be a lifelong learner – I love learning new things to teach my students and learning new things that my students have taught me.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the school year, and my future as an educator, has in store.

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Educators and Social Media; The Results

Problem: Educators and Social Media. Can an educator maintain a personal digital identity through the use of personal social media accounts or should most/all digital use from an educator be professional? Should students be able to contact teachers through social media or vice-versa? Should coaches be able to communicate with student-athletes through social media?

Social media has become a part of everyday life for both students and teachers, which brings about the moral question of whether or not student-teacher communication through social media should be allowed?

Examples: Throughout my internship I used Edmodo with my Information Processing class to post assignments. Students were able to upload their assignments to the site, review their grades, receive reminders about outstanding assignments, as well and send/receive comments to/from me, the teacher. Other teachers allowed students to communicate with them through Twitter to arrange homework help or ask questions about assignments outside of class time. Some teachers used Twitter, Wikis, blogs, or other internet platforms to post classroom information or interesting/relevant links. I also know of some teachers who coach athletics through their school and use social media as a way to communicate with players such as setting up a Facebook group to inform student-athletes of game/practice time changes or other important updates.

Research: My first action was to create a survey which I sent out using my own social media accounts such as including the link in a blog post, allowing friends to include the link in their blog posts, “tweeting” the link to my followers through my Twitter account and other Twitter users “retweeted” it to their followers. I also emailed the link to the survey to numerous classmates, teachers, and parents that I know. In the end a total of 51 people participated in the survey, and these were their responses:

Question #1: Your Occupation (participants could check more than one box)

*Other responses included: University Instructional Technologist, Assistant, Psychologist, and Career Counsellor

Question #2: Do you use any social media platforms? (check all that apply)

Question #3: Can an educator maintain a personal digital identity through the use of social media accounts or should most/all digital use from an educator be professional?

Some explanations included: Yes, teachers can have a personal identity but must be aware that they are never really out of the spotlight and must conduct themselves in a respectful manor. Nothing online is really private. Educators are mentors, leaders, and role models and should use caution and tact when using social media. An educator is well capable of having a personal and professional life, their life outside of school is up to them to have. Educators are held to a higher expectation because they have students in their care and are constantly setting the example. You are never completely removed from public scrutiny, one has to be careful to conduct themselves accordingly. Educators have rights to a personal life, however, an educator must always be fully aware and understand that personal actions can and will be judged by society and decisions they make in their personal lives may have an effect on their job/career. We are teachers 24/7, there is no break from that – what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there anymore because of technology.

Question #4: Should students be able to contact teachers through social media?

Some explanations included: If allowed by the teacher, then it shouldn’t be a problem. No, too many ‘issues’/legalities. No, it creates a false relationship that students mistake/confuse for in-school relationship. It is fine as long as the content is appropriate and maintains the student-teacher relationship but sometimes such communication can become too casual and informal. Only once the student has graduated, to stay in touch. It is a world of technology, why not connect them? It crosses the professional line and the integrity of the teacher is decreased. Why not is the question, if used appropriately then it is a good use of technology. Social media is becoming a part of life, students and teachers should be able to communicate through its use but in a professional manner. It is all recorded and if the reason for contact is innocent, wanting helping with homework, the teacher becomes a more stable support. Yes, however students should also learn social media etiquette. Different social media should be used for different things, for example: Twitter should be open and used to communicate with students and network whereas Facebook should be used for personal use and locked. Teachers should set up specific social media that cater to education such as Edmodo or blogs. So many valuable educational applications!

Question #5: Should coaches be able to contact student-athletes through social media?

Some explanations included: If a page was established specifically for the team, then that would be acceptable. It would be better if it was a family or parent account. There are other ways of getting hold of athletes besides using social media. It’s difficult to get commitment from students and communication can be a challenge, sometimes texting and Facebook groups can be used very effectively to help with this. Different relationship, coaches can have less professional relationships with players. It is much easier to connect to a team of people rather than one individual through Facebook or text. Coaches need to communicate quickly with parents and players and most of them are on social media, so why not? Only with the full consent of parents. Many of the answers from Question #4 carry over in to this question.

Question #6: What are some of the positives for student-teacher social media interactions? (47 responses)
Some responses included: Open communication, ease/speed of communication. Keeping information current. Better communication, more personal, possibly more engaged students. Students can see teachers in a more human role from their posting. Convenience, students are in tune with social media. Instant communication that people actually use; students engage better in learning when they are interested and involved in the activity and social media is interesting right now and should be used in the classroom and for communication. Developing healthy relationships with students is a very important part of learning and social media interactions can facilitate that. None,students and teachers should not communicate through social media. Students are able to get help when they need it. Social media is the way students / business functions, education needs to be a part of this. Relationship = engagement, engagement is the holy grail of education and if you are able to engage them better then you will be able to educate them easier.

Questions #7: What are some of the negatives of student-teacher social media interactions? (46 responses)
Some responses included: Confusion of roles/relationships. Opens up inappropriate situations – doesn’t teach youth good social skills – allows youth to send comments based on emotion and without thinking first – possibility of allowing youth to see teachers being inappropriate. Could lead to issues related to exploitation of minors by some teachers, easy to keep from parents. Shows too much of the personal life, decreases professional integrity. Anything can be misperceived and by associating with students through social media one opens themselves up to big risks. Potential for information to be distributed unintentionally. May cause problems in the classroom. Too many networks and not everyone uses the same network consistently, not everyone has immediate access and may not get the message at the same time. There should be a distinct line between personal life and professional life. Boundaries need a lot of reflection, potential mistakes can be problematic. Students need to learn appropriate models of professional communication. Students can leave messages that teachers are held liable for yet they may not know until it is too late (ie suicidal). Students who do not use social media are left out. Takes time to teach students that teachers are not their equals and online conversations must reflect that. Inappropriate expectations in response time. Students over sharing/complaining while knowing that an educator can see what they are saying (educate students on digital footprints and that everyone can view what they post).

Question #8: Other comments (23 responses)
Some responses included: Social media is a very intriguing medium, there is a lot of potential benefit but risks must be weighed and evaluated. Social media should not be used with students until they graduate from high school or legally become an adult. There needs to b a “code of conduct” and appropriate guidelines of usage developed. We need to be open minded that this is a more familiar mode of communication present day for young people. Has some merit but also a lot of downfall educationally. As long as all parties are professional and dignified and follow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it should all be good. It is extremely important for teachers to utilize the available opportunities to connect and engage students. Students need to be educated on social media, such as who they think can see what on their social media accounts and then talk about how to control your privacy online. There is a very fine line between appropriate and inappropriate, social media outside of school hours should be approved of and monitored by the parent and even then it is questionable. A good case can be made for needing adult role models on social media, teachers can help. Educators should not be afraid of new technologies and in fact it is imperative to embrace them for the sake of student learning. Social media is a huge part of life right now, it can not be ignored so why not use it to our advantage? You have to value the media students value to establish pedagogical relationships; but, you don’t need to be 120 students’ personal sounding board or tutor.

As a result of the survey, I have concluded that generally educators using social media as a professional to connect with students and other educators is okay as long as it remains professional. It has also been suggested that perhaps public communication through social media sites is better than through private email communication since then there is public documentation of the communication exchange. Edmodo and Twitter tend to be the most desired forms of student-teacher social media interactions whereas most individuals suggest that Facebook should be used for private lives and not to connect with students.

As I continued my research I found a number of useful or interesting websites on the topic:
Websites:
EDUCHATTER’S BLOG: A blog post discussing Facebook in Schools, mentions a teacher’s successful campaign to bring Facebook into Catholic public schools in Regina, Saskatchewan and discusses the stance on social media from various school boards across Canada.
Facebook for Educators Facebook Educator’s Guide. A website designed to help educators develop school policy, understand Facebook’s guidelines, safety & privacy, digital citizenship, pages & groups, 21st century students, professional development, and more.
Mashable Social Media: 3 Tips for Teachers Using Social Media in the Classroom (survey your students about social media, utilize groups and communities, and establish clearly communicated boundaries)
Reuters: Missouri judge blocks teacher-student social media law – an article explaining why a Missouri judge blocked a pending state law that would prevent teachers and students from communicating privately over the internet on social media sites.
Edudemic: Why students like social media but schools don’t – includes an infographic of students use of social media and why schools are cautious
Education.US News: Student-Teacher Social Media Restrictions Get Mixed Reactions – explores various reactions to student-teacher social media restrictions, includes a student, psychiatrist, family-counseling provider, and a principal perspective.
New York Times: Rules to Stop Pupil and Teacher From Getting Too Social Online – an article that takes an in-depth look into some of the issues surrounding student-teacher social media interactions.
The Blue Skunk Blog: Networking Guidelines – provides guidelines for the use of social networking sites, educational networking sites, and all networking sites by professional staff.
Social Media Today: Bridging the Gap: Students, Teachers, and Social Media – a blog post describing the importance of teachers using social media to communicate with both students and parents.
Social Media Guidelines: a collaborative wiki project to generate Social Media Guidelines for school districts
Social Media Governance: A listing of social media policies from various brands and agencies

Canadian Resources:
The Ontario College of Teachers has its own Professional Advisory; Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media document which would act as a good rule for educators outside of Ontario as well. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario also has an Electronic Communication and Social Media Advice to Members PDF.Although I could not find any links to social media policies for school boards in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation does offer CyberTips for Teachers on their website which provides some helpful tips for teachers to consider when using social media.

Conclusion: As with any moral issue, there is no clear-cut answer as to whether or not educators or coaches should be communicating with students or student-athletes through social media. There are numerous positives and negatives to such use of social media but does one really understand the moral issues involved? Based on the researched I have conducted it appears that more individuals think that social media is where our students are now and teachers should be accessing these platforms as a way to engage and support these students. In contrast, school boards often seem to have an opposite opinion of educators and social media and recommend limited or no student-teacher communication through social media.
Personally I battled with the moral issues of using social media to communicate with students but at the end of the day I do think that it is very important for us to communicate with our students in a way that is easy, readily-available, and second nature for them. I found through my internship that using Edmodo was a great educational way to communicate with students while both myself and my students could keep our personal lives out of the mix. Through the use of Edmodo students were able to privately communicate their concerns about the class to me and stay updated with class assignments when they were away from school. Although I strive to always conduct myself professionally online, I also understand the great push-back for educators using social media and the great risks involved.
At the end of the day, is it morally okay for students and teachers to communicate through social media?

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