I was thinking earlier about what to blog about. There are so many topics I have opinions on and feel passionately about, but I decided to choose something I have been thinking about for a while. The ongoing debate about the use of social networking sites in schools. Is it an effective tool or are we opening up a recipe for disaster?
I personally think it depends on the person using it, do they know what they are doing and have they set their privacy in the correct manner. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this blog. My privacy settings are always set to the most private I can be to avoid any children finding me. However, with the ever changing sites and settings it can be easy to forget about this. To pupils, teachers are perceived as almost inhumane…like we don’t have a life outside of school. So for them to find us on twitter or facebook could be a big thing to them and highly amusing. But I do think it is important for us to have our own lives and keep up with the times and we shouldn’t not have an account out of fear.
What I am talking about though is the use of school accounts. How can we use social networking sites to promote our schools. I have asked the question before and been turned down. I would like to see our school have an account, it would allow pupils, parents and the local community to see what is happening at the school. We have some fantastic events and showcase the talent in the school throughout the year and in my eyes, not enough of the community get to see this. If we gave notice and advertised on twitter and facebook we could get more people through the doors and get a more positive perception.
Of course, this could go the other way with people giving us negativity, but couldn’t we then get feedback on how to improve the school. There are ways round this, by setting privacy to only send posts and not let people comment. So maybe this is a point to consider. As a PE teacher, I would love the set up a PE department twitter or Facebook account and post results of fixtures, club news and match reports. This could increase the number of people coming along as I think participation at school clubs is dropping. I would also like to tweet fitness and nutrition tips to the pupils in the school. This could help increase their knowledge and maybe help them lead a healthier lifestyle. This alongside my boot camp could make a difference to some of the children. This might not seem like a lot, but I know if it changes a few children’s lives, then it could have a knock on effect. I guess I won’t know until I try.
So, I am now making this another one of my missions. I want to positively effect as many pupils lives as I can, not only the ones I teach, but the ones who want to improve their lifestyles. I am going re approach the powers that be and see what I can do.