Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Be the Change

When it comes to social media, there are so many different ways that you can use these powerful online communication tools.  Many people believe that the only thing on Twitter is people posting what they ate for breakfast.  But there is so much more!   There is actually a very large presence of educational leaders on Twitter sharing out the great things happening in their schools who connect and comment on educational topics.  Did you know that Nathan Wear, the High School principal is one of those leaders?

Mr. Wear uses Facebook and Twitter as a communication tool for the High School sharing information with the hashtag, #solonstrong.  Great hashtag.  Do you know the story behind it?  Wait, let me back up, do you know what a hashtag is?  A hashtag is a word or a phrase that is preceded by a pound sign to act as a connecting thread on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  You can follow the hashtag #solonstrong to see the story of Solon Schools online.  I was impressed to learn that #Solonstrong was created by High School students about two years ago and has shown to be a great way to help share what is going on in Solon Schools.  It has become so popular that the Press Citizen will include it when they write stories on the school district!

The biggest part of social media for Mr. Wear has been to model appropriate digital citizenship and lead by example for his staff and students.  When you use social media, you’ll be surprised at the connections you’ll make.  Most of these connections are positive, however, there can be a darker side.  A recent bubble of the social media’s negativity showed the importance of modeling appropriate use for students.  One tweet in response to the negativity from Mr. Wear started a ripple effect with students who retweeted and favorited his tweet, spreading the message.  Students took a stand following his example, sending out their own tweets against the negativity saying that they didn’t want this at their school.  The students took control and proved that Gandhi's quote to be true, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and the negativity quickly disappeared.   

Twitter is a great place for educators to connect and spark new ideas. If you are just getting started on twitter and are not quite sure who to follow, check out Mr. Wear’s list of top educators to follow.

Kathy Kaldenberg- @scsdmedia
Matt Townsley- @mctownsley
Scott McLeod- @mcleod
Jimmy Casas- @casas_jimmy
George Couros- @gcouros
Patrick Larkin- @patrickmlarkin
Eric Sheninger- @E_Sheninger

- Contribution from Amber Bridge, Grant Wood AEA Technology Consultant. Want to share what is going on in your class or collaborate on a technology project?  Feel to to contact me

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