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Social Media for Professional Development

The upsurge in social media use remains an important context to consider for scholastic innovation. Groups throughout various sectors of the world are still bending towards the use of social media, attempting to reap the benefits of this evolving technology. Historically, businesses have social media to establish brand identity, track their competitors, and improve customer service. Institutes of higher learning utilize social media to remain connected with prospective and current students, as well as alumni. Although social media seems to be a thriving enterprise in some arenas, there are certain segments of society that still admonish the use of social media. Furthermore, the firey debate surrounding the use of social media in the K12 classroom has not fizzled out.

Education is a particularly important sector of our society occupied with concerns about the equitable use of technology. Subsequently then, is the need to explore whether social media can support any necessary improvements or enhancements in teaching and learning. Advocates for the use of social media, in teaching and learning, support the utilization of social media to engage students. Additionally, advocates understand the benefits of teacher-use amongst teachers to maintain motivation and personal growth. Since teacher quality (more specifically professional development) is critical to student learning, there is a need to consider and research the novelty of social media use by teachers and between teachers. Certain social media offer an interesting platform for teachers to engage in online professional development, as the constraints of time and locale are minimized. Simply stated, social media allow teachers an opportunity to engage in social learning that is group specific.

What is your social media learning platform preference? What informal exchanges define the learning that takes place within your online community? Do your professional development preferences align with the practices in your online community?

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