“As the internet has become more central in our lives, we have begun to witness a revival of the importance of being human.”
The internet, along with social media, has become more and more prevalent in classrooms. In the above TEDx Talk George Couros, Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, talks about the importance of taking this medium to another level. George uses various social media outlets to get the whole school district talking about what they’re doing in the classroom. It all started when he began blogging to create a place where he could talk about all of the good things that were happening in his school:
1) He created a Twitter hashtag (#PSD70) for his school district, Parkland. Superintendents, teachers, assistant principals, students and even parents use the hashtag to tweet about all of the positive things happening in their classrooms. Most importantly, it instills a sense of community. Everyone gets a chance to participate in sharing the message while taking pride in the important and positive progress happening in local schools.
2) A teacher from the school district heard about a Facebook page and Twitter profile that a student created for his school. He used the two platforms to share only positive things about other students. This inspired her to put her camera to use and start having one student compliment another student in their classroom each week to post on the district's YouTube channel.
3) Parkland School District launched a blog called 184 Days of Learning where anyone can submit an essay, photo or video highlighting something that they learned that day. Additionally, every student in the district is required to maintain a blogging portfolio which follows them all throughout their time in school.
“I could share what we did in our school, the powerful things that were happening in our school and we were telling the story. We weren’t waiting for something bad to happen, to be reported in the media. We were telling the story of what we did as educators.”
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