I have been using Facebook for about a year for professional development purposes. I am a member of Laura Candler’s Upper Elementary Teacher Connection, and I have used this group frequently to ask questions and brainstorm new ideas. When I started using Plickers, I joined her Plickers (K-5) group, which really helped me get started with this very easy tool. Recently, I have joined the Elementary 40 Hour Teacher Week (a very active group!) and this JumpStart group. I have found Facebook as an easy place for me to connect with other teachers because I go on Facebook every day for personal reasons as well as professional ones.
I made a Twitter account last summer, but I didn’t start using it actively until this summer. Since it is the summer, and I am working on quite a few projects, I have been very active with it recently. I have found it fun to connect with famous people (especially authors) and other people who are working on similar projects with me (#teacherswrite, #bookaday, #GoogleForEdu). It has connected me with librarians in the area who are helping me set up a Battle of the Books team and other 5th grade teachers with whom I can learn more about teaching 5th graders. It’s so fun when authors like, retweet, or even reply to one of your tweets!
So I’m pretty active already on Facebook and Twitter. That leaves Instagram. I have been avoiding it because I don’t want to have to deal with another social media platform. I’m not sure I really want to deal with another social media platform now, but I am going to give it a try. There are certainly a lot of resources on there, and the photographs from places like NOAA and National Geographic are stunning.
I found a few blog posts to help me get started on following useful accounts. One was about science-based accounts and another was for art museums. I have started thinking about how I can use these types of accounts in my classroom this year.
Since we don’t have an art teacher, we are expected to teach art in the classroom. I struggled with finding good content for my art lessons, and I think the Instagram accounts of the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art will help enhance my art lessons and provide models for my young artists.
We have two science-based units this year, and I think a lot of the science accounts will be helpful for these units. General Electric will be useful for our unit on alternative forms of energy. The New York Botanical Garden and U.S. Geological Survey accounts will help with our biodiversity unit.
The use of artifacts in history is so important yet it is very hard to get real artifacts into the classroom. Luckily, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian can provide some images of some amazing artifacts.
New finds on Instagram:
Personal clip chart. I like how it isn’t in front of the room for the whole class to see.
My first ever Instagram post (of course, about read alouds and Harry Potter)
I shared this picture with myself (love these flowers!).
So, my first foray into Instagram. We’ll see how it goes!