Hello Mobile Learning Team. Thank you for your thoughtfully put together OER. It’s such a big topic, I can only imagine the difficulty in narrowing down to a small scope for this project. My relationship with using social media (as an educator) has changed over the years since I have started teaching. I used to be very “for” using social media, such as Instagram or Twitter, because I felt like those were the best mediums to reach my students. I would definitely still separate personal from work social media platforms, but in general I was open to having them. However, I have become increasingly more paranoid about having these platforms. What it boils down to is: I don’t want them having so much access to *me*.
My 11-12 year old students aren’t old enough to own an Instagram (though more than half already do); it definitely sends the wrong message if I were to have a “class instagram” for them to follow. I don’t feel comfortable navigating in these spaces with them, even if I’m using a professional account. I guess they could “find” my professional accounts, but I don’t want them following me! A former colleague uses her class instagram for parents to follow, but that also makes me uncomfortable because I don’t want to have access to PARENTS’ personal accounts. I’m now at the point where I would like as big of a gap as possible between my social media use and theirs.
That being said, I do think it is important to be up to date with what students use. It’s a difficult task because apps come and go, but it’s easier to get my message of “internet safety” across if I know what I’m dealing with, rather than sounding like An Adult Here To Warn You Off The Internet (which would not be well-received by students!). While it is not a teacher’s JOB to get to know all the social media platforms, teachers who choose to, will have a way to reach students than those who are in the dark.
Perhaps your brand of mobile learning is more suitable for students in secondary and post-secondary education! I liked the Snapchat example you shared. For teachers who are okay with work accounts, it also provides a way to connect with students that they may not be able to in a traditional classroom.