I recently had the most interesting conversation with one of the technology support gurus for my school district. He told me that he does not nor will he ever have an iAnything, Twitter, blog, wiki, Facebook or Google account. He urged me to quickly shut down my accounts as "big brother is watching." For a moment I thought I was talking to Will Smith in Enemy of the State.
When did we become so paranoid about social networking? As an educator, I adore the ease in which the aforementioned sites allow me to communicate with others. As an educator I love for Big Brother to watch me use:
- Twitter to stay abreast of educational trends by following leaders in the field.
- Blogs/Wikis to provide an open forum about issues in my content area for colleagues, students and parents.
- Facebook to communicate with students and parents as well as provide a relaxed forum to educate my charges about upcoming events within my curriculum.
- Google to utilize gDocs to show students that you do not have to buy the overpriced Microsoft Office suite to prepare a PowerPoint. Or use Google+ for communication, project management and collaboration. Please see the previous post for more on Google+.
- My Smartphone to detail how apps can improve the value of their educational experience. Or how to do a quick Google search when all of the computers in the library are in use.
Please watch me, Big Brother, as I make strides in education the right way without putting my job in jeopardy yet maintaining strong relationships with my childhood friends.
If you're not sure where to begin, tweet me as I'm happy to help. Until then, continue to make strides and don't be afraid of Big Brother. The more we use these tools, the more secondary schools will allow their use on campus.
Happy Social Networking!