Social media usually gets a bad rap from many as being distractive or harmful but it is a tool that has a lot of potential and is very powerful when used correctly. Many teachers become better by using social media to connect with others and to share/collaborate across great distances. I have used Twitter to communicate with students/parents, connect with others teachers and to find resources/ideas that help me grow as an educator.
Using social media we can better communicate with others, including parents and students. I found that many students were more open to asking questions outside of school using Twitter more so than email, even though the tweets were public. They want a quick way to get help and feedback so they can keep their learning going instead of stopping until the next day.
Parents have also told me how they enjoyed being able to see my calendar for class that showed when we were doing what and listing the resources students needed. I have used a blog and a Google Site but parents also followed me on Twitter so they could find resources to help their students. Parents have also told me how grateful they were when I would share out examples from class so they could see what the students were doing and how they were learning.
Tagboard is a digital tool that allows you to pull in messages sent through many of the main social media sources using a single hashtag. You could post messages about your class through Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and others using a hashtag and use Tagboard to share all of those quickly with parents/students/other teachers. A benefit of this is that you can use your computer/tablet/phone to quickly post to any of those services and parents will be able to find them all in one place. The key is to find a hashtag that works for your classroom, that won’t be used by others, and post the Tagboard link where parents can find it quickly.
Watch the video to see how to get started.