EdReach is such a great site! What a valuable resource that I never knew about. Definitely a tool I will use to continue to educate myself and stay up to date on the latest in news in education. The podcast that I listened to was called Mission Monday #036: The Pros and Cons of Being a “Connected Educator.” The two hosts, Mark (a school principal) and Sam (teacher) are a part of a program called Mission Monday. This program provides a plan to enhance school communities through focused interventions that center around building positive relationships between students, teachers, parents and the community. For this podcast, the hosts used the definiton of connected educator to be, “connected in some capactity with other educators through a social media outlet.” I was surprised by this definition as there are several other ways to be connected, however, given the power of social media today, I can understand their point of view.
The podcast goes on to discuss different forms of social media such as twitter, facebook and pinterest. The hosts discuss the pros and cons of each. The general theme throughout the podcast is that, in general, social media outlets are useful tools that allow for collaboration and building relationships with other educators, however, they are a “little too rose colored …a little too much sunshine.” I think it was Mark who makes the point that any tweets or posts with a negative connotation are disliked. The reason for this, according to the hosts, is that educators who use social media and want to stay connected typically are like minded and therefore are seeking similar chats. I found this to be eye opening since, for example, twitter as a whole is not generally positive. In fact celebrities and other entertainers are portrayed in a negtaive light. It was interesting to hear that educators do have such a positive spin on what they tweet about. After all, who wants to listen to a teacher complain about a difficult day they had in the classroom?
One of the last points the two hosts made was about Pinterest. They pointed out that, in general, people who use Pinterest love to pin things to their board or like other pins, but they hardly ever follow through. They do not bake the delicious cookies they saw, or start that workout plan they repinned. In contrast, educators actually DO what they find. If they find a cool lesson plan, or materials to use within their classroom, they actually follow through. Makes sense.
Having had my first experience with EdReach (or podcasts in general) I would say that this is a tool I will use as a future learner. Having this type of insight is what makes you a connected educator and can only enhance your understanding of your students and your own professional growth. Learning from others, as cliche as it sounds, is the best way to learn. I also think using podcasts in the classroom is a fantastic idea! Giving students the opportunity to become their own broadcasters can build their confidence and get them interested in such tools from an early age. Stay connected!