Where will I find the time for social media?

On the crusade for some great blogs to add to my blog wall, I came across ‘Mrs Hargreaves’ ICT learning journery’.  A blog post written by a fellow EDC3100 peer, Mrs Hargreaves hooked me right from the start.  The title ‘A classroom Twitter Wall’ spoke about how a teacher known to her had successfully integrated twitter (social media) in the classroom.  I particularly liked the idea of having students tweet about experiences in the classroom.  In this instance, social media use was quite controlled (specific times of the day), yet open in that they could tweet about various classroom learning activities or things of interest.

I must be honest, I have never used social media in the classroom.  My initial concerns were, how would I do this and is it even possible in a classroom environment?  Relying on the PLN I have been developing on twitter, I put it out there and asked, for the sharing of twitter integration in primary classrooms.  To my surprise, some kind people conducted a google search to show me ways I could integrate twitter in the classroom.  Check out some of this ideas and the conversation by clicking on the twitter conversation below:

The post ‘A classroom Twitter Wall‘, got me thinking about my use of social media.  Being a mother to two young children and studying 3 subjects, one being ICT, I was left to wonder how could I find time for social media?  The question was, what could I do to make it easier for me to continue to build my personal learning network (PLN) via social media?  This is where social media in itself was extremely valuable.  While I was on twitter, I stumbled across a link to ‘The Busy Person’s Guide to Social Media’, tweeted by Edudemic.  The ‘reach out to others‘ technique caught my eye.  Here it mentioned in the beginning to connect with people on twitter and not wait for them to come to you (hence, building a PLN).  The section on ‘watering your plants’ talked about finding a balance, don’t leave it alone for two months and expect it to survive and don’t overexpose yourself.

After doing some further course reading and being prompted to use Google reader to manage RSS feeds, I Created a Google reader account.  This way at the end of each day, I can go through the feeds and look at those of interest or importance and leaves those deemed as ‘not as important’.

In my eyes, social media is a great tool that can be used in the classroom and on a personal level.  For me it will be important to regularly stay in touch with my PLN and evaluate the usefulness of posts that come through my Google reader.

Already I can see the power of a strong PLN, the connections and sharing of information is irreplaceable.  Where do you think I got the instructions and idea of creating a blog roll?  This was kindly mentioned on our EDC3100 Facebook group.  This is a good example of how I have used my PLN to source information.  I think with some time dedicated to social media each day and some careful analysis, I can simultaneously build a PLN and the skills to implement it in the classroom.