Be the EXPERT #edchat #socialmedia

Yes, we all know times have changed, but in order to keep up with the changes, educators need to show students they are the real EXPERTS when it comes to knowledge and teaching. There are so many avenues students can take to learn, create, and explore using the internet, social media, as well as other technology resources, so educators need to be the starting point of these adventures or at least be the facilitator of student learning.

Through the use of social media, teachers and administrators have the opportunity to impact student learning, achievement, and confidence any time during the course of a day. Teachers have the ability to change lives in the classroom and on the playing fields, but now it can be done with a simple TWEET or FACEBOOK PAGE or IMAGE or BLOG POST. When this type of interaction occurs, it allows all individuals and groups involved a chance to become better learners, as well as communicators.

So, what does it mean to “BE THE EXPERT”, it simply means that educators need to use social media resources to help them become better teachers, communicators, and leaders in their field of study. It means more than just having a “stagnate”  web page that doesn’t help share their knowledge in real time. It means educators need to share as much information as they can with their students at all times, and this can and should be done with the use of social media. Once educators take control of what they are sharing with the students, the students will learn how to create knowledge for themselves. The use of social media doesn’t mean teachers need to abandon books, pacing guides, and other instructional resources. It just means there needs to be supplement activities to help students understand even more, as well as all the time. 

When the teacher becomes the “EXPERT” in the eyes of the student, then there will be more respect, more conversation, and more meaningful classroom instruction. By using social media, it doesn’t mean you are letting go of materials from the past, it just means you are incorporating them at a higher level or more interesting level for the students of today. It’s kind of like the magician at the circus, once a “trick” is done, the crowd begins to think the magician is either the greatest or a fraud. Either way, the crowd starts to question the entire “trick”, or even better, the crowd starts to tell their neighbor, co-worker, or relative about the “trick”.

I’m not saying that educators should “trick” students, but they should be challenging students to discover more information, and if this involves students “thinking teachers are the greatest” or “not believing the teacher”, it doesn’t matter, because the student will be listening and learning during the next lesson. So, “BE THE EXPERT” by using social media to share as much information as possible with your students in and out of the classroom, as well as to “trick” them into a challenging situation.

Using GOPRO in the classroom

Recently, I became a fan of GOPRO videos and images that are easily accessible with any smartphone, computer, or tablet by using Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Google + in a matter of seconds. At first, it was just a way of passing the time, but after looking at the number of people who are recording themselves, sharing information, and teaching others by using the GOPRO camera, I was a little more intrigued. In the past, I have used images, pictures, and videos, to help promote learning in my classroom, as well as to give students another opportunity to showcase the mastery of a skill.


After a little more investigation, I decided to use this tool as a way of assessment with my students. I felt this would be a good way for students to increase their speaking, presentation, and comprehension skills after being exposed to specific tasks in my classroom. Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing my ideas with the students, and they were interested, but it wasn’t until they saw the camera that they really became excited, and after seeing the first video, even the students who are pretty reserved, perked up a little.

From these conversations, a host of ideas and activities have started to form in my head, as well as on paper, and eventually will end up with the students. Once again, I have used this kind of assessment in the past, but the technology we are exposed to today makes it much easier. I still remember the gigantic camcorder I used 10 years ago with my students while recording their acting skills as they performed scenes from Romeo and Juliet.