This professional development weekend, I have enjoying the conversations with other administrators from Coquitlam school district on social media with George Couros as our facilitator. It seems that while many administrators have embraced social media, there are many with a lot of apprehension around taking the leap into the online world of education leadership and learning. This got me think about the issues around the use of social media.
Our discussions were around reasons for using twitter and other social media as educational tools for educators, students, parents and community. The concepts of sharing your learning, ideas and thoughts to the world turns what might be garbage for one person into the just the idea or thought to move ideas into actions to improve our world. Mr. Couras shared a video from Derek Sivers helping to explain this.
But what are the pitfalls to using social media? We know what an happen if we don’t embrace and ‘take back’ our spaces as educators in promoting our schools and reputations. Benefits from connecting, of showing our humanity, and making relationships surely outweigh the fear.
I think a lot of educators who do not connect online have been frightened by past stories of online damage to reputations. It is similar, in my mind, to those excessive ads scaring people into a loss of trust for one political side. We are believing our own rhetoric that we use to ‘protect’ our students. We do this because social media has been thrust upon us, we didn’t ask for it and many would prefer it would go away.
It’s not going away anytime soon. We need to tackle these issues and take the jump, with the support of our colleagues, down the 60 foot ski hill.