Becoming a Branded Educator
Lately I've been working more and more closely with school district administrators and I'm seeing more and more benefits of establishing a strong, collective--yet focused--web presence as part of your personal brand. Furthermore, I'm really starting to see how those benefits relate to the schools and districts these educators represent.
Take the two I've worked most closely with, Eric and Patrick. These two have really got something going with their websites (Eric's // Patrick's). They have been amazing to work with so far and the three of us will now be hosting a Webinar talking about creating branded websites for educators, how it can be done, why it's important and the benefits of having a central hub for all aspects of your virtual brand (click here if you'd like more information about the Webinar). With their websites, not only do they keep the community, students, and parents in-the-know, but their entire Twitter PLN knows what's going on. They are better able to collaborate with schools from across the country. They can get their school in the news. But the best part is that the same sort of website will work for teacher too, not just administrators. The possibilities are endless. Just see below for a Prezi I created about building branded websites for Administrators:
And here's one for teachers:
Social media affects every single one of us (student, educator, teacher, professor, or administrator--and all those outside of education), whether we realize it or not. It's a conversation, it's news, it's now.
We are working to establish a platform that enhances the use of social media in education and brings together all aspects of an educator's brand. It will harness the sheer power of social media and add immense value to an educator's brand. It is so exciting to me to see all of the educators I chat with on Twitter (both K-12 and Higher Ed.) that are working to form this sort of revolution in education. These educators are using tools to better their students, their schools, and their districts. And to increase learning, engagement, and excitement about education.
As a current student myself, I have yet to see anything even relating to social media in any of my classes (neither as a topic nor a tool), and it's very disappointing to me, as I can see daily the affects of using social media in real-world application through the amazing educators (both K-12 and Higher Ed.) that I've met THROUGH social media. Such a disappointment. So many educators are lacking in [student engagement, making things more interesting, getting creative, trying something new, and the list goes on and on]. And also, not only are some educators unwilling to give social media a try, they put bans on things like YouTube, Facebook, etc. in the classroom and some even ask parents to ban all social networking at home.
Instead of all of this, teach students to use it safely, teach students in a way that engages them and gets them more involved in the lesson. The key is to use it well. It's not social media or technology for the sake of social media or technology, but it provides added-value to the lesson. It gets students excited about learning. Here's an example of one educator (Mr Haines) that realizes that students "don't care what they are taught, they care about how they are taught": Twanimal Farm.
It's so inspiring to me to have met so many educators that want to make a difference, and I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to talk to those that are passionate, and that are willing to try new things. The longer we keep up the conversation, the more people we get involved, and the more things change, this conversation becomes even more pertinent and more focused.