Saturday, July 27, 2013

Social Media: Who is watching you?

All of you who have read my blog, attended one of my presentations, or have spoken with me know that I am a strong proponent for the use of social media as a means of profesional development and as a medium for giving every student a voice while connecting them to the world. However, over the last several weeks, I have heard many stories about educators who have lost their jobs because of choices they have made through different social media outlets. These are educators who are well-known as experts in their fields, not those new to the profession moving social media from a strictly social means to one that is used for professional learning.

Social Media:"With great power comes great responsibility"
I keep hearing how unfair it is to be judged by one tweet, one Facebook post, one pin on Pinterest, or one Instagram photo. However, I don't believe this is an issue of fairness.  This is an issue of professionalism. We are choosing to make our lives public by joining in the conversation through social media outlets. Most of us put "educator" in our profiles. We are proud of our chosen profession, but we need to remember that there are many people who are reading the content that we put out into the world. Many of whom will never interact with us. That can be an extremely positive never know when interactions can lead to your dream job. Consequently, the reverse is just as true. Other educators, parents, students, board members, and community leaders are all watching you. Good, bad, or ugly.

The good news is that you control what you put out there. You have the power to uplift, encourage, educate, lead, share, connect, and learn. Social media is not something to fear. It is powerful...and "with great power comes great responsibility." Educators are put under intense scrutiny. For all of us, let's take a moment before we push "send" and make sure that no matter what we are putting out into the global community, it is something that enriches the lives of others.

 photo credit:guccio@文房具社 via photopin cc

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