Would you like to use social media tools in your classroom? Four Kansas teachers share their social media stories and what works for them.

As a teacher, does the thought of social media in the classroom make you excited? Anxious? Or maybe a combination of the two? It’s natural to feel both, but as education professionals, we can’t forget that our students and their parents are already on social media sites — and they’re ready to engage with you.

Our small, rural district in Eudora, Kan., encourages the use of social media by anyone who represents a classroom, sports team, student club, or other group because we believe there are valuable opportunities there for the taking. We can:

  • Use social media, video, and blogs as teaching tools;
  • Teach students safe and courteous online behavior;
  • Communicate with parents through the real-time, content-rich format that social media provides; and
  • Allow and encourage others to support our efforts, celebrate our successes, grieve our losses, and sometimes even challenge us to do better.

Our district’s leaders are the first to admit that jumping into the social media pool as a professional can be nerve-wracking at times. To help overcome the risks, we use a simple set of procedures and policies designed to boost our teachers’ confidence and help them navigate any challenges that may arise online.

We are proud of the number of teachers who have embraced social media for their work in the schools, and we are excited to share a small handful of the success stories. Read on to see what our teachers are doing and how social media can add an extra level of engagement to your classroom. For more examples, visit www.eudoraschools.org/socialmedia.

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