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Are We Using Social Media in Education?

May 24, 2010

The world is changing – fast. I fear that many of us in special education are not using 21st Century tools to either promote our field or prepare our students.

I recently taught a workshop to high school teachers about using social media tools to connect with staff and students in order to build buy-in and ownership for a new school-wide behavior initiative. As part of the workshop, I wanted to not only tell the teachers about web 2.0 tools they could and should be using, but also show them how easy it is to use these tools. “Easy” was an assumption on my part. I assumed wrong. The tools I was promoting was Poll Everywhere that allowed them to take polls and surveys in real time by having participants use their own cell phones to text their survey choice and have the results of the survey instantly show up on the screen where I showing the presentation. I expected this to take no more then 2 minutes – however, a majority of the high school teachers did not know how to send a text message through their mobile phone so the demo took 10-15 minutes of time. This reminded me of one huge disconnect between our educators and the students they are educating. I see this same disconnect in many of the educational associations and professional groups that I am a part of.

I wanted to blog about this not to condemn my educational colleagues, but to shine a light on the problem. If we are not using the tools of today in our classrooms and schools, how can we claim to be preparing our students for tomorrow?

If you want to catch up on the importance of social media in our world – check out the video below.

What do you think, are you a social media user?
If not, why not? If so, how so? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

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