Something better?

So I caught the tail end of tonight’s #edchat.  I have been pretty down on the online community lately, and have even become known as somewhat of a luddite (I’m ok with that).  But anyway…

The very tail end of #edchat had a bunch of tweets suggesting that people “mentor” another teacher in their building regarding social media.  Ok, mentorship is great, but mentoring someone in social media?  Really? That is the thing we are going to take time to mentor someone on?  If we are going to mentor someone (or better yet, collaborate with someone) I think we have some better options.  So before you decide to social media “mentor” someone, consider collaborating with them concerning one of the ideas below.

1) Curriculum Mapping

2) Classroom Management

3) Questioning Strategies

4) Technology Integration

4) Counting :)

5) Creating Authentic Assessments

6) Identifying “big ideas”.

7) Grading – or how to not grade.

8) Organizing your desk

9) designing bathroom passes

10) Can you tell that I think mentoring someone in social media is unnecessary?  Yes, social media is great for connecting people and exchanging ideas.  However, if our focus ends up being on the social media and the ideas and not the enactment of the ideas, the whole thing is a waste of time.  Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, but I’d rather split hairs than accidentally lose sight of the goal: improving the actual (as opposed to theoretical) education of all students.

Then, when someone asks, “where do you get all these great ideas?”, that is when you tell them about your online PLN.

Let’s not let the online PLN replace working within our buildings to make educational change a reality.

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4 Responses to Something better?

  1. This isn’t the first time this has come up over the summer. I think I wrote a blog post about it too. I agree with you, some things we don’t need to teach (mentor). I really think the problem is we don’t often mentor other teachers in any way. Perhaps your ideas aren’t really far-fetched and we really need to step up our presence with our fellow teachers.

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  2. I agree, Jerrid. We can all get caught up in this idea that social media will save education, but it won’t. We really do need to focus on our teaching and the media will come in when needed.

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  3. Dan says:

    Social media is but a temporary fad that will consume many a good teacher. How would the social media converts respond to those who would argue that they can accomplish far more with a chalkboard and an engaging lesson?

    Thanks for your post.

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  4. Les says:

    Hear,hear! I teach high school, and though I spend much time revamping my perspective on my content/technology, it still comes down to knowing the content. That’s what gives me the ability to implement new strategies and update content for relevance. So, though I enjoy the extra time I get in the summer on social media, improving my understanding and skill set, my real work is reading: books I want to read, books that support my mastery of my content area, and books my students read and see as relevant.

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