Teaching is a constant learning journey. For 2014 the focus of my learning journey will be the daily use of Te Reo, developing the Enviro Schools Team and developing independence in learning - the next step on from Daily 5.
Week 30 - APC - Professional Online Social Networks (Class Notes)
Social media in teaching
The digital era has seen social media popularity expand across sectors and at different levels. In education, social media has been increasingly adopted to enrich the learning environment. Pearson’s survey (Seaman & Tinti-Kane, 2013) shows that there was an increase of 21.3% from 2012 to 2013 in social media use in teaching.
A study investigating social media use in teaching (Silius et al., 2010) showed that student motivation for social media can enhance study. While this study was conducted with university students, its implications can be applied to other contexts as learners of any age have substantial access to social media networks.
Promising as it seems, social media is not without its critics. A recent Pearson survey revealed 56% of respondents believed social media to be more distracting than helpful to students. Further, effective learning will vary from student to student according to their knowledge and competence of these platforms.
Social media in professional development
Technology accessibility and the pace of advancement to all communities both local and international has resulted in changes to aspects of the general education system, including the professional learning medium for educators (Melhuish, 2013).
Social media platforms have been able to provide personalised learning which is need-based and flexible in time and location. Teachers can use online social network to seek information, share ideas and even contribute to the development of deep knowledge.
In the New Zealand context, the Ministry of Education has introduced an initiative to enhance professional development via online social networking. The Virtual Learning Network is a platform where educators can engage in professional conversations. Melhuish's (2013) study has suggested that VLN Groups can enable an informal type of professional learning for teachers.
Activity 6: Using social online networks in teaching and/or professional development
After reading the Class Notes, create a blog post where you critically discuss the use of social media in teaching and/or in professional development in relation to any two of the following questions:
What are some key features of social media that are beneficial for teaching and learning? Why?
What are potential challenges that teachers need to be aware of when integrating social networking platforms into teaching activities? Why?
What social media platform do you feel best supports engagement with your professional development? Why?
How do/would you use social media to enhance your professional development? Why?