Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Social Media & Schools: The Learning Post

If we truly want to be learning communities, learning cannot be exclusively for those at school.  Students, of course, are expected to learn. We measure that and give feedback often!  School faculty are expected to be continuous learners.  Campuses and districts provide learning opportunities and we encourage the learning to take place in a personal manner as well, just as we do with students.  Most professions have this same expectation, but as "experts" in our field we really have an obligation to be feeding our communities with opportunities to grow!  The learning post allows the opportunity for the learning to take place outside our buildings and classrooms by people other than students, bringing a focus to growing a community of learners.

Think, for a moment, about the question that is often asked in parent conferences and RtI, 504 and ARD meetings?  For me, I often hear: "What can I be doing to best support my student at home?"  This is a perfect place to start.  The learning post gives our parents he opportunity to have access to better support their students.  At Eagle Ridge we began this area with posts regarding how parents can help and support at home with math & literacy parent/teacher connection.  Here are a couple sample posts:
Our campus Paper.li is a great learning resources as well.  We have tried to feed that resource with not only school related resources, but true community resources.  Below is one of my favorites as it includes district posts and information as well links provided by our local state representative.
Other opportunities for learning posts can be learning about campus initiatives and understanding how schools work!

The one thing that did concern us regarding the learning post was the perception of preaching.  We never wanted our community to feel as if we were preaching at them on a specific topic or that we were calling them out.  This school year we got ourselves over that and explicitly pitched our purpose in share articles, blog posts, etc. which was to feed the community and share things that made us think.  We specifically emphasized that many of the things we shared would be related to empowering parents to best help their kiddos and understand what school was all about!  With those things in mind, it is important to not post things filled with lingo that will not be easily accessible to our families we are trying to reach.

The act of exposing ourselves as educators and our learners comes pretty naturally just due to the nature of what we do.  Reaching our families takes something a little more intentional.  The learning post, like the C&I post, is, most likely, a departure from an area of comfort with social media where our campus is concerned.  But, if we wish to be a community of learners and continue our journey in that respect, it is a great step forward!

Happy posting


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