Social Media Management

I need some advice about how to manage my social media accounts as I continue down the path to becoming a high school teacher.

Right now, the only social media account I’ve used in my teaching is my Twitter account. Nothing formal, but I have used it to connect with the schools I’ve worked with, and students have followed me.

I have started a new blog on Edublogs to write about my teaching experiences (I will share this in the near future, I promise!).

I have a second 6-week practicum coming up in March/April, and I want to use social media more in the classroom, but I’m wondering just how I should manage it.

Facebook is completely off the table for teaching purposes right now. I only use it for personal reasons now, and don’t think it’s a good idea to change that.

I want to have my two separate blogs, since it’s a natural split to have my more personal posts here, and teaching-related posts on the other one. I will probably link from this blog to the Edublog, but probably not the other way around (mostly because, even though I don’t think I’ve posted anything all that controversial,  somethings in my archives I’d rather not share with students/parents/other teachers).

I might also make a separate website that is specifically for students & parents with assignments, resources, calendars, etc.

One thing I’m not sure about is Twitter. I have one account right now that’s now called “MsAGilbert” (which I changed so I could use it as a teacher). That happens to be the name of my Edublog. I have been using it for both personal and professional use. So, I’m trying to decide between the following options:

1. Keep having just one Twitter account linking to it from both (all) blogs/websites.

2. Keep the one Twitter account and only linking to it from one blog and not have Twitter at all for the other.

3. Creating a Twitter account to be associated with each blog.

I lean toward #3 because I do post controversial/opinionated (to some) things on Twitter that might not good in the teaching world, and I would like to have a teaching account that I can use both in and out of the classroom. BUT, my problem is my current Twitter account is very connect to my personal blog (this one) and most of my followers associate the two. That causes a problem because I’d rather use MsAGilbert for my teaching account – which means having to come up with a new name for another Twitter feed, which could be really confusing.

What do you think, readers? Do you have more than one Twitter account? How do you manage your social media? Any Twitter handle suggestions?

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Comments on: "Social Media Management" (6)

  1. I have two twitter accounts- the @wandsci one that I started with and that is associated with my Wandering Scientist blog and my real name one that is associated with my “professional blog.” I am hiding the link between @wandsci and my real name from Google, not people, so I periodically self-RT something from my real name account on my @wandsci account. I never do the reverse, though. I also periodically link to things that can take people to my real name account (such as the link to the newsletter in my current post), but again, not vice versa.

    An interested person would have no trouble finding my real name accounts from @wandsci, and would have only a little bit of work to go the other direction. But the algorithms don't make the link the other direction, so if you search my real name, you don't find Wandering Scientist. I am keeping it that way primarily out of respect for my children's privacy. I want to be able to write about mothering without worrying that a casually curious classmate will stumble across those posts.

    With such a porous hole between the two worlds, I still keep to my rule that I don't post anything anywhere that I wouldn't want my parents to read, or my kids to read when they are older. I also don't post anything that I am not prepared to defend to employers. I will still talk about somewhat controversial topics, but I make sure it is something I believe in enough to potentially lose a contract over.

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  2. The teachers' unions have recommendations and guidelines for this sort of thing. You have to be very careful about maintaining a distinction between personal and professional. An unfortunate reality of this profession is that a lot of effort has to go towards covering our assess in just about everything we do.

    I use a class blog/website and nothing else. Everything students need goes there. I interact with them in the comments on the blog if necessary, but I give them a specific timeframe in the evening that I'll be available and try to stick to it. Anything outside of that is not guaranteed. Email communication with parents happens only when the phone absolutely doesn't work and I rarely ever call home outside of school hours. It's not just about privacy; it's also important not to set up the expectation that you're available 24/7.

    That said, I'd go with option #3, but also be mindful of what you say in all venues that can come back to bite you later.

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  3. Maybe your professional twitter could be TeacherGilbert or SciteachGilbert or something that makes it obvious that that's the professional account for teaching-related stuff.

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  4. Cloud – thanks for sharing what you do. Not sure if you've thought about this yet, but you should write a book about it 😉

    Your last paragraph is exactly my philosophy regarding social media. I'm not going to avoid it because of what COULD happen if I posted something that could get me in serious trouble (like drunken FB photos or something) – I just won't do that.

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  5. spacepotatoes – yes, we have received a lot of information on those rules and regulations. What it comes down to for me is I don't want to be scared away from using social media in class because it can be such a powerful tool. It's better for me to learn how to use it responsibly.

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  6. Good suggestion – thanks!

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