Social Media for Teaching, Learning, and Job Hunting

Social media programs provide several potential applications to support and enhance teaching and learning.  These include connecting students, tutors, and teachers within learning communities, for sharing and discovering content, and for communication and collaboration.   For example, the following sites, identified here as being among the most popular by the Pew Research Center, are used to assist teaching and learning in a variety of ways:

Facebook

  • Use Facebook Live to hold review sessions, tune in (or replay) live streams from experts in class, or to learn from other educators
  • Share resources, assignments, and tools with students and other educators
  • Use questions and polls to educate and get opinions

Instagram

  • Showcase student work and classroom activities on a private account only accessible to families and others in the school community
  • Join an Instagram community by finding curriculum-related hashtags and then posting and tagging relevant content
  • Post visual reminders and countdowns

Pinterest

  • Locate and organize content and resources for research projects, lessons, classroom management, and professional development
  • Create, manage, and share digital student portfolios
  • Facilitate group collaboration by creating a board that multiple users can post on for team projects

LinkedIn

  • Design assignments and research projects in which learners can reach out to relevant groups and/or experts they find on the site to find out more about a topic or concept
  • Help students to develop a professional online presence on the platform through a fully built-out profile
  • Utilize LinkedIn Pulse to explore news and thought pieces related to professional goals and student learning objectives

Twitter

  • Develop and maintain a Personal Learning Network (PLN)
  • Support and encourage timely communication and collaboration between students and students and teacher
  • Network through hashtag chats

In my professional experience to this point, I have found Twitter to be the most effective platform for professional development, for precisely the reasons outlined above.  However, as I begin a job search in a new field, I am rapidly discovering the usefulness of LinkedIn.  In addition to classroom application, LinkedIn offers a treasure trove of information to a job hunter; as discussed by Ryan (2014), LinkedIn is essentially a massive database of information from which a job seeker can quickly develop a successful job search strategy.  As is well understood, you can rapidly discover who in your network has a connection to a company or organization that you wish to work for, then leverage that connection to increase your chances of getting an interview.  However, you can also use LinkedIn to educate yourself about the company/organization and the people who work there, both by following the company/organization and reviewing the profiles and shared postings of leadership.  This will help you to familiarize yourself with current issues and trends that are important to those who you want to hire you, as well as to discover additional potential networking connections.  Along the same lines, you can also connect with and review the profiles of people working in similar positions as what you are seeking, then tailor your profile accordingly.  As someone who is changing careers, I am finding this to be particularly useful, as I am learning how to best present my prior experience to best fit the mold of the field for which I am hoping to enter.  Finally, LinkedIn provides a template in which to develop a professional online presence/brand, in which it is understood that one will avoid the more personal/casual musings and sharings that characterize social media platforms such as Facebook.  In short, LinkedIn, while certainly not a panacea for the job hunter, nevertheless offers several functionalities that can help facilitate a more effective job search.

Reference

Ryan, L. (2014, May 19). Ten ways to use linkedIn in your job search.  Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2014/05/19/ten-ways-to-use-linkedin-in-your-job-search/2/#26f817414763

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