Today, we gave every staff member access to our school’s Twitter account.
This could be a little jarring for those who are worried about what might go wrong. But after all, they have keys to the school building and they are with children all day. Surely teachers can handle access to a school-wide account.
What’s funny is that when my principal and I established our school’s social media accounts during the summer, we kept the passwords secret and in a protected file. The whole purpose behind creating these accounts was to help our school get our story out there for everyone to see. How was that going to happen when only two people had access to the accounts?
But really, this goes beyond letting everyone access — It addresses 3 big reasons why teachers need to be connected.
1. On-going Professional Learning — Those of us who have connected to Twitter know that one of the best things about being connected is the countinous learning experiences we have because of our connections to other teachers around the world. There is a fourth grade teacher who has not only embraced learning through Twitter, but she has also used this new learning to create meaningful and engaging experience for her students through such as participating in the Global Read Aloud. She is a voice that the staff needed to hear because she is making social media work for kids.
2. Sharing the good things that are happening every single day — Good things are happening in our building every single day. However, most of it never makes it outside of the walls of our building. We have an opportunity through Twitter to share our stories of learning with the world in real time. Getting our teachers connected to the school account will help share even more of those stories.
3. Becoming the digital leaders our students need — I showed our staff a Twitter account of a fourth grader in our building. This is an account that was created on his own. He certainly does not meet the age requirements needed to have an account, yet he has one. How many other of our elementary aged students have a social media account? Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach to social media, we teachers and school leaders need to be taking a “learn with me” approach so that our students have positive models of responsible digital learning.
Today, our staff was given the tools, the chance and the trust to be digital leaders. We need to be living the learning lives our students are learning so that we can help them be successful. If we aren’t the role models for our students, who will be?