Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Next Steps for a Connected Educator

Though I’ve been connected on social media for a few years, I feel like there should be more to the network, the community, the redefinition of it…all of this has made me think about the next steps I could should take when utilizing it as well as technology and the place they have within the innovation I myself as a person and teacher should strive for.

To be honest, when it comes to social media, I’ve already started to utilize Feedly, Pinterest, Evernote, and Twitter into my own personal methods of professional development and collaboration (though Evernote is on its last leg). Feedly came within the last couple months off of a recommendation from Steven Anderson since I couldn’t find a quality app for Blogger on the App Store. I initially didn’t join Pinterest because I used to think it was only for recipes, decoration ideas, and wedding planning. Little did I know with such a naïve mind. It’s great for curating content while Evernote allows me to save the article then and there in various ways. (Side notes: Pinterest is now blocked in China as of a few weeks ago, Evernote is in Chinese on the local internet, and Twitter has been game-changing. Who would have thought any of those would have happened?)

What I have found is that simply joining these platforms is not enough in itself. Lurking is a decent first step, but to move forward one must learn how to partake, collaborate, and create when ready. Therefore, I joined ISTE’s #ETCoaches / Blogging Buddies a month or so back to obtain more interaction and communal growth. I would also like to start utilizing YouTube and possibly YouKu (China’s YouTube) more often along with the inclusion of more multimedia than just simply pictures within posts/sharing. Then there's live-streaming, whether it be Periscope or YouTube.

Some of these tools have Chinese versions (in-app or on the website), which I always check when browsing the App Store or web. It’s also been vital to check the Chinese App Store since there are some apps present or missing when compared to the American one.
I’ve been using American platforms, but I’d like to take a step with Chinese ones as well. I’m still considering how to do this long-term, and that includes how to get the most out of WeChat, QQ, and Weibo (China’s Twitter). WeChat is the big one here, and it very well may have an effect on your internet. With that said, I don’t want to keep switching between what kind of internet or which social media I use because the students and colleagues I interact with on a daily basis usually surf a different one from the one I’ve been accustomed to. (If only there was a Chinese version of Buffer.)

How should I go about this? Which steps would you suggest or take in this situation?

What steps can you take to go outside your comfort zone and move forward in your journey as a connected educator?

Photo Credits: ePublicist


  1. "...all of this has made me think about the next steps I could should take when utilizing it as well as technology and the place they have within the innovation I myself as a person and teacher should strive for."

    I agree..there are so many options that we have as professionals to create a "personal brand" how do we know which option to choose. I have been as you say "lurking" on the outside not wanting to get fully involved with things like Twitter and Facebook but I can see that there is a place for those tools in education. Students need good role models and instruction on how to use these tools and they need to consider their own "digital brand" that they are creating even at a young age.
    Check out this link for more on our responsibility as teachers and social media.

    1. So true, Steve. I hadn't gone so far as to think what kind of "personal brand" I wanted to begin. I was simply pondering ways I'd like to create more previously unknown to me and then move on to sharing with others in order to interact/grow more collectively. Any suggestions/tips?

      Thanks for the Haiku Deck too!

    2. Gentlemen, I am humbled by your creative and informative blogs. I aspire to eventually be a real blogger like you some day. Your example and John's class have given me an excellent start.

    3. The hard part with platforms is that they are both places (hence the words "sites") as well as tools. So, when you join one you are essentially joining a community. That can be tricky to figure out if it's a community you will want to engage with on a deeper level. I love your idea of getting into the Chinese communities as well.

  2. Like John said, it is a matter of choosing which communities you want to be involved in. There are so many platforms to choose from, and even more if you're adding in Chinese ones as well. I have actively worked to help my students consider how they want to represent themselves online, and go about attempting to start creating that persona.

    For myself, I use Twitter as essentially my newspaper of great ideas to regularly peruse (I read a hardcopy newspaper as well :-)) I post here and there when I have something to say. I'm definitely posting my blog posts, now that I'm being a little more regular with that. Otherwise, I really enjoy Voxer for the direct small group professional conversations, and I save content to both Pinterest and Google Keep (my replacement for Evernote, after they started charging more).

    Good luck on your quest to be more connected!