Tag Archives: social media

Global Communicators Whether We Like It or Not

As a teacher, my audience is most often my students. Until now, I have rarely taken into consideration global communication when writing my lesson plans and assignments. However, considering the world my students are entering into, global communication is something that many of them are going to have to participate in. Part of my job is to prepare my 12th graders for the world beyond high school. As they get older, many jobs look for skilled communicators, and much of communication happens digitally in today’s society. As Dorreen Starke-Meyerring says, the internet is an “inherently global” network (487). Therefore, preparing my students to be global communicators should be part of my job and a skill which I consider when teaching my students how to listen, speak, read, and write.

Proving to students through job ads that effective communication is a necessary skill makes the necessity of the skills they are (hopefully) going to learn or continue to shape throughout the year undeniable. Professionally, Starke-Meyerring states that “They need to be able to collaborate effectively and ethically in global networks, using global network technologies to build trusting relationships and partnerships” (476). There is worth in these skills, and we can prove that to students through this quote and back it up with listed qualifications for job opportunities. How do we do approach this, though?

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Social Media as a Teaching Tool?

When I asked my colleagues how they use social media as a teacher, I got responses like “I don’t,” and “Ummmm well, I use the website that the school told us we have to use.” However, I got some more enthusiastic approaches to the issue with “I use it everyday! I send my students to my Pinterest page to find the links to videos they have to watch,” and “We have a class Facebook page where students have discussions on the themes of the current unit.” As technology becomes increasingly intertwined in our everyday lives, our students are no exception. In order to reach them (our audience) we need to utilize social media to increase our communication with them as well as their communication with each other. As Christopher Swan writes about how to connect globally on social media in order to “Dissolve boundaries” and “Allow global inclusion,” we can use social media as teachers to accomplish those same goals on a smaller scale.

One teacher who uses Facebook to get her students having classroom and real world relevant discussions said that by using a forum where students are able to think through their contribution to the discussion before putting it out there has allowed for more involvement from some of the quieter students, the ones who don’t tend to speak out in class discussions. It also validates the students’ ideas when they get “likes” on their post. She did say that this sometimes poses a problem when students get competitive about who got the most “likes.” “It’s a learning process for all of us, but I think overall the results have been positive because we’re allowing them to take education into their own world, where they are comfortable,” said Debbie.

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Toward a More Meaningful Use of Social Media

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How does one go about communicating promise and possibility to its students?  How does one motivate donors to give generously in order to support these students?  How is diversity not only welcomed, but celebrated?  It took a website redesign to answer these questions more effectively.  The newer, better College of Lake County (CLC) website was launched in July 2014 in time for its 45th birthday last Thursday, September 25th.  It has come a long way since its start in 1967 when it opened its doors to 2,360 students paying tuition of seven dollars per credit hour.  Forty-five years later, it now welcomes over 16,000 students from across the Chicagoland area and has an even wider reach through its online classes.

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