Social Media to the Professional Setting

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Oh My! So many places to share everything going on in my life with 140 characters more or less… Pics of the cat sleeping! Snow covered trees! My obsession with #DarthVader … While exciting [to me], I recognized early on the potential of these formats to share the message of what does good teaching look like… I have identified three ways in which I interact with social media as a professional… 

  1. Assessing student learning through discussions… Initially, I used social media – Facebook groups – as a way in which to engage students in discussions about science… For example, science methods students uploaded an annotated picture from discussing how that picture made them think of science…. [Notice the 2012 time stamp…]

Untitled copy

This was a good start for beginning to look at social media for learning… However, the students and I were just responding to what we saw and not probing for understanding.

Fast forward to today… I work to use Twitter and Instagram as a format to engage students in discussions to clearly show student understanding and reasoning. For example, I ask a participant in a workshop about improving their model… Over a series of tweets you see how the group is making changes to the nano-particle to aide in delivering drugs…



Note: This can be used to assess students, but also to engage the community in what is going on in the classroom. [SAFETY First though… You may only want a classroom account to show what is going on like these teachers – Mr. HuberMs. Ruehle, and Mr. Friesen.]

  1. Keeping up with the latest Research & Practices… If you follow researchers, experts, and organizations, you can keep up with the latest information about any number of topics. There are also a number of resources for the classroom.
    1. Today I was reading my Twitter feed from @Lizette_Burks as she tweeted about @smithsonianscie link to the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The YouTube video on Misconceptions was something I can integrate into my elementary science methods course next week! Can I say, PERFECT TIMING!!
    2. Facebook: Dr. Doug Golic, a University of Nebraska – Lincoln Entomologist, with the UNL Bumble Boosters. This site is about citizen science with Bumble Bees…
    3. Facebook: UNL MRSEC Materials Research Science and Engineering Center [you can see the post about me herehere, and here]. I’m lucky enough to work with this group through collaborations between the MRSEC scientists and pre-service elementary teachers! Can I say awesome!!!
    4. Facebook:  Dr. Michael Domeier with the Marine Conservation Science Institute which has my all time favorite mobile app Expedition White Shark… [next to my app found here and talked about in the blog posts here, here, and here]

Expedition White Shark

  1. Become a leader/expert… Following experts may also allow you to become a leader/expert in your community by sharing new ideas and activities [created by you or rom others] that might interest your followers.
    1. Here a colleague responds to a tweet showing teachers analyzing the NGSS…ngss
    2. I loved this tweet by a teacher in my community  providing some #teachertricks…Untitled

While these ideas are not exhaustive, they provide a window into moving social media into the professional setting. For me, I leave my one account as both social and professional interactions but there is nothing wrong with having both a professional and social account. Key is to recognize that I am both a learner and a leader. I can’t do this alone! Why not use the big world wide web and all the potential connections to build a better learning environment for students!


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