Tuesday, June 13, 2017

One and Done!

As {previously mentioned}, I've got some professional reading to tackle this summer.

This afternoon, I sat down with  Your School Rocks...So Tell People! with the intention of tackling a few chapters.

 Two hours later, in one sitting, I was done.  

It was a good, quick read that reaffirmed a lot of what I am already trying in the classroom.

My take-aways?

1) Continue to use class dojo to communicate with families about all the awesomeness that's happening in the classroom.

2) They aren't reading the paper newsletter.  Find a different (digital) way to communicate.  I like the idea of weekly podcasts.  I like the idea of them being limited to 2-3 minutes even more.  I'm hoping to figure out how to link them to Instagram instead of posting to Youtube.

3) Respect FERPA. Get permission before posting face pictures and don't use last names.  When in doubt, take artsy, behind the head shots.  It's hard to identify backs of heads & hands.
4) Create a classroom/teacher Instagram account.  I've got a personal one that I use and I'm already snapping pictures of class events for dojo, so why not?  In addition to this book being in favor of using social media, dozens of other respected educational articles back up this idea.

I didn't check with administration first, but created one that's totally separate from my personal account.  I shared a message on class dojo with last year's class and explained that families are welcome to follow me, but I won't follow back (thus ensuring their privacy).

One of the big "a ha" moments while reading was how often teens are on social media, so why not use that as a positive force.  One chapter focused on teachers/schools that were sending daily positive affirmations to help students start their days off right.  I have a teacher friend in Texas who has been doing this for years within the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) with massive success.  Why couldn't the same ideas be applied to the classroom?

I'm eager to see how this evolves, but I've got my branding hashtags ready (classroom specific, school specific, and the 50s pod specific). 

I stumbled upon this:

Which I plan to use.  I want the account to feel like a classroom account, so I will be sending students out with the iPads to take pictures.  I'll have them send to me and then I'll post from there. I also like the idea of them writing the captions and mini-blog posts.  Students tend to put forth a lot more effort when they have an authentic audience (meaning not just me the teacher). 

I've got two followers so far, one parent from last year and one teacher friend's professional account.  She used twitter last year and was my inspiration for the project (and who recommended the book to me), so it's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of in the realm of technology.  Thanks Mrs. K!

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