How Educators Can Use Social Media for Professional Learning
Written by: Keep Indiana Learning
The truth is, we never really stop learning in life—which is especially true for educators. Whether you’re a first-year teacher or just a few years away from retirement, there are always opportunities for growth as education evolves with time. In recent years, social media has offered a plethora of platforms that allow educators to learn both independently and collaboratively online. Not to mention, so many resources online are free, so you don’t have to break the bank to invest in the development of your practice.
We know social media can feel like the wild west of the internet, so we’ll help you cut through the noise to find professional learning opportunities fit for you. Here’s how to make the most out of social media for professional learning…
Follow Helpful Hashtags
If you have a particular subject area you’re interested in, one of the easiest ways to stay up to date is to follow hashtags. Following specific hashtags allows you to filter out less relevant content and tune into the popular discourse surrounding that subject area. The beauty of hashtags is you can follow topics ranging from extremely broad to super specific. For instance, you can follow general hashtags like #Education, #IndianaSchools, or #TeachersofLinkedIn as well as more specific hashtags like #KeepINLearning, #INLearning, or #MathConnect.
You can follow hashtags on multiple platforms, but to keep it simple, we recommend using LinkedIn and Twitter for researching industry news, opinion pieces, and general professional learning information. Given the nature of LinkedIn, it is quite easy to find professional development opportunities and content to participate in. Meanwhile, Twitter is great for following live updates on how the education industry is changing and evolving.
Follow Educational Thought Leaders
With social media, influential thought leaders have the power to reach the masses. There are so many seasoned educators online who provide great insight into school culture, class instruction, and student connection—plus, you can most likely find them through education-based hashtags. Check out LinkedIn’s Top Voices In Education to pull some inspiration from the experts. After all, the more thought leaders you follow, the more quality, inspiring content you’ll see on your feed. If you aren’t following us, be sure to check us out across all social platforms!
Connect with Mentors & Support Groups
Community fosters learning, and teachers should never feel alone in their practice! Scouting out online support groups is a simple yet effective way to build up a support system that is available at all times (as long as you have an internet connection, of course)!
No matter the subject area or grade level you teach, there is probably an online group to join! For a more tailored experience, you may want to join a group based on your location—since each state’s curriculum varies.
Joining the Keep Indiana Learning Facebook Group is a great place to start since our educational community was created by Indiana educators, for Indiana educators. Moderated by members of the Keep Indiana Learning team, stories, questions, resources, and upcoming events are routinely shared in this group. We encourage participation from individual educators, schools, and districts looking to increase equitable learning experiences for all.
Subscribe to Podcasts Made for Educators
Podcasts are all the rage these days… and there’s something for everyone! Podcasts particularly centered around education provide teachers with a sense of community as well as a different perspective on effective teaching practices. Keep Indiana Learning powers three different podcasts created for educators and school leaders:
The Systems Talk! podcast was created for school leaders seeking to improve the systems in their organizations. Systems Talk! features Indiana leaders who share their best practices for working in schools. The 2022-23 season is focused on proactive PR strategies for schools and districts.
The Math and Other Things podcast is hosted by Keep Indiana Learning Assistant Director of Professional Learning, Courtney Flessner, who dissects mathematical concepts with educational thought leaders and investigates how they apply mathematics to real-world scenarios. To sum it up, this podcast is as good as pi!
Follow Keep Indiana Learning Socials
Keep Indiana Learning is an empowering, collaborative community with a desire to transform the landscape of education. Be sure to follow Keep Indiana Learning on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and subscribe to the YouTube channel for resourceful live streams, conference sessions, and more! In an effort to remove all barriers to equitable, engaging learning experiences, these resources are free and accessible to everyone.