Facebook for teachers: a private space for collaboration

Education Weekly recently published an article about social networks for educators, emphasizing teachers’ desires for protected –and exclusive — spaces to share ideas and collaborate with others in their field. According to a survey of educators conducted by MMS Education:

Eighty-four percent of respondents said general social networks like Facebook and Twitter brought privacy concerns, while only 45 percent held that concern for education-specific networks.

I think the article hit the nail of the head in regards to the issue of privacy. While I don’t have an educator specific social network account, like Edmodo, I can see the benefits it has in allowing teachers to socialize online within that particular community so as not to compromise any student or school information.

What really resonated for me was the line: “community for educators looking for live and virtual collaboration, information, and professional development around education technology”. As we look to do more collaborations with schools abroad for Skype opportunities, a social network like this would be ideal for building that connection. Currently, when I look for “The Teacher Community”, I search hashtags or visit various blogs, Pinterest boards, or simply talk to my peers in the faculty room. Beyond this, I am not sure if there “needs” to be a Facebook for teachers, however, it is worth playing around with. Being a member of a community like this feels authentic and has the potential to become part of your daily practices.

– By Melissa Alkire, US History teacher and Technology Integration Specialist.

 

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