Someone I talked to recently said that they believed social media is a “career killer.” They are afraid of it ruining their professional life. Although I can’t argue with the fact that people have lost jobs over MIS-use of social media, I couldn’t disagree more with this statement for me.
I have been on Twitter since 2009–to be honest, I signed up to get updates on the NFL draft during my husband’s cousin’s wedding. What can I say, the Lions had the #1 pick that year. It was too important to miss! Since then, my Twitter account has been a source of professional inspiration for me. In the last few DAYS alone, I have made connections with people I never would have otherwise. These people have become writing collaborators, helped me with my research, and opened up doors for other opportunities to serve my community. And these are people from all over the country, ensuring that I get to hear from people that don’t share my same viewpoint or life perspective. And I LOVE this. It’s also nice to whine to people from the south about the insane amount of snow we’ve been getting in Michigan, since I get true pity from them. (Probably a foot just this morning. Thanks Detroit!)
As it always does, my inspirations turn into writing. My writing goals for March are mostly about learning more about how teachers use social media to network. I am so intrigued by this idea of networking and community among educators on social media. I started a book called “Net Smart” by Howard Rheingold. I skipped right to the chapter on networking and he described how people in these social media communities like the NerdyBookClub or #sschat help each other out of a sense of duty. They help complete strangers because they know complete strangers will help and have helped them. It’s like the ultimate pay it forward. In a world where the voice of the teacher is being silenced and teachers are being compared and in some cases pitted against each other like competitors, finding spaces where the opposite is happening is amazing. I want to know more, and write more, about this space.
So…the writing goals for March. (I am hoping to blog about more than writing goals and more than once a month, but for now…)
Grant Proposal for Research Study on NerdCamp
I am attending NerdCamp this summer, another brain-child of a Twitter community. I wrote a little bit about my study in the hopes that I can get some funding to interview a lot of social media-using teachers there.
I’ve been asked to write a book review for a book about integrating social studies instruction with other subjects. Something I know a bit about! The book review genre is a bit challenging, but I am excited to take it on for an online publication.
I am just finishing up my proposals for the NCSS research conference in November. I am working on two proposals with a lot of collaborators. One of the proposals is on the affordances and challenges of using social media with students in social studies classes. It should be no surprise that I connected with collaborators for this proposal on Twitter! I have never met them in person or “IRL” if you will.
I am also getting ready to present about another research study I did on students’ Twitter use in one of my classes at AERA in Philadelphia. My adventures in Philly are sure to fill another blog post not about writing goals.