Monday, May 23, 2011

Life Without Social Media- Never Again

What was life like before social media? It is hard to imagine a world without Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. I am in the process of finishing a gravel patio and referenced several Youtube videos along the way. It certainly helped to have a visual and commentary from other "DIY's" as we took on this project.

A few weekends ago my 20 year High School Reunion was held. Months prior to the reunion a fellow classmates started a Facebook group for my class. This afforded classmates the opportunity to reconnect and served as platform to share updates about the reunion. While not an avid user of Facebook, I am always amazed how easy it is to stay connected and still feel as if you are the part of people's lives. Finally, I would be lost without Twitter. As an educator Twitter has become a necessity. I learn so much from following passionate educators and participating in various chats.

Often while interviewing, I will ask a potential candidate a question about how they embody the spirit of being a life-long learner. This leads to a discussion about how one continues to learn and the role social networks play in furthering personal and professional interests. While not the determining factor, I am pleased to hear how a potential candidate harnesses the power of social media to grow as an educator.

I also think the concept of social is important. We are in the process of revising the English Curriculum at the high school. A true collaborative effort has been underway to rethink our English classrooms. Via Google Docs, educators have been invited to offer opinions about the curriculum. Over 100 educators from all over the world have viewed the document. The social nature of Google Docs will result in a rich and deeply relevant English curriculum. Looking forward, it is exciting to think how social media/networks will impact education and only for the better. Will there be a time when, essentially, all foundational materials such as curriculum and core texts are crowd sourced?

As an educator I am certainly grateful for the development of social media and how it makes me a better and more informed educator.