Social media has taken the world by storm. A day doesn't go by where I don't check my Facebook, Tweet about something or scan through Pinterest. In my Tech class at Brock University, we were encouraged to use Twitter, Google+ and Blogger to explore using social media as a teacher. This has proven to be exceptionally valuable to me. I've participated in #ntchat on Twitter the past few weeks and have found so much support and gained awesome resources as a future/new teacher. I can see this being a valuable resource for any teacher or professional in the field of education, as the possibilities for collaboration and expansion of learning are extremely powerful.
The Ontario College of Teachers released a professional advisory on the use of social media by teachers in April of 2011. The advisory touches on how great it is to use social media but also that teachers need to be wary of the risks involved in creating and maintaining a permanent digital footprint. I think that the bottom line is that teachers need to compose themselves online as they would in the professional world, just as this advisory states. Watch your language, do not discuss confidential or personal details about students, colleagues, or anyone for that matter; and use it as a professional forum for the sharing of ideas and advice. Furthermore, as I've mentioned in earlier blog posts, we need to transfer this wariness to our students so that they are aware of the risks and dangers involved in using social media and the 'netiquette' required to uphold a respectful, appropriate, and effective online persona.