doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Don’t Hurt Yourself with Social Media

I absolutely read every comment that’s posted to this blog.  Often, it allows me to extend the conversation.  With any luck, I make sense but there are times when I’m wrong and get corrected.  Both are valuable experiences for me.  So, when Tim King commented on my “This Week in Ontario Edublogs“, I read it with interest.  Then, I read it again.  I couldn’t determine if he was agreeing with me or taking me to task with my post.

But, one of the quotes in his reply made me think during my morning dog walk.

At my recent AQ, the new teachers all said that they actively avoid web2.0 because it loses them credibility with the old-school admins hiring them, and they are terrified of one of their 20-something friends posting pictures that would get them fired.

Two things leapt out at me.  

First of all, Tim and a bunch of teachers are taking Additional Qualification courses during the summer.  That is so impressive.  I hope that it’s in an air conditioned setting given the brutal weather this summer.  The additional certifications should make them more valuable to their schools and their employers and open additional teaching discipline possibilities for them.  Great resume fodder.

But, the second part bothers me.  It’s the concept of avoiding Web 2.0 things because of concerns about their employer’s perceptions of it.  That’s really bothersome.  It directly counters some of the great reading that I’ve done today.

The concerns are not isolated to the education profession.  Ontario jail guards warned about social media use

I think back to the OTF Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century series and @osstfbob’s comment “Don’t Do Stupid Things”.  That’s great advice but does it mean living isolated from society?  I sure hope not.  

I do think that it’s a call to using things wisely.  In fact, the smarter you use it, the better you can leverage it.  Instead of lying awake worrying about what they might find, why not be proactive about things.  Post some of the great things you’re doing, blog about your progressive thoughts, tweet about excellent professional reading.  And, show that you’re a real person.  

I dug into Facebook to see if I’m walking the walk.

Here’s a picture of me showing off at a Minds on Media event with three great leaders that I have nothing but the utmost respect for – @brendasherry, @peterskillen, and @kellmoor.  People should be saying “Wow, you know …”!

I also share things about “me”, if you’re interested.  Here’s my dog sleeping on a cedar chest.

My son gave me a gift once of driving some exotic cars.  Here’s me checking out the Lamborgini.  (I really looked forward to the Ferrari and the Viper was cool too!)

Of course, pictures are but one part of the story.  Blog posts, essays, comments, engagement, and thoughts are the things that illustrated deeper thinking and reflection.  You never dig as deeply as when you reflect and write about something.  Or podcast.  Or videocast.  In fact, there are so many ways that Web 2.0 can be used so positively.  

What about those that would post pictures about you?  There are ways to be pre-emptive starting with letting your friends know who you are and who you want to be.  If that works, then there are things that you can do to protect your identity.

Hey, Tim, as I wrap this up, I’m thinking this would be a great idea for a presentation.  Do you want me to keep that in my hip pocket in case someone cancels at ECOO?  Or, are you interested in putting in a proposal for MACUL?  It’s one of the really great conference and Detroit’s COBO Hall is such a nice venue.  And, there are no people like Michiganers.

Thanks for the reply and making me think about this.


23 responses to “Don’t Hurt Yourself with Social Media”

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  2. […] school administrators made comments in Doug’s blog about the need for restraint.  In a leadership role, you’re not free to fly off the […]


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