I recently help present a workshop about how social media can be used in CTE (Career and Technical Education) Schools. I work as a LAN/WAN networking instructor at a Post Secondary school in Northern NJ. One of the biggest issues with Social Media in education and academia is figuring out how to use it effectively. Everyone has a different view on how (and actually whether) it should be used. Administrators are concerned about fraternization and professionalism, many instructors and teachers are unfamiliar with the medium and often question it’s usefulness and students often only see social media as a way to keep up with thier friends and post keg party pics. IT people worry about exposing their network and their students to questionable material and chewing up bandwidth on already stressed school networks. The process is further complicated when you take into account what branch of education you are in. K-12 educators and administrators do not have the same concerns as collegiate educators and adminstrators. There are also varying opinons on what is appropriate for a learning institution.
In the case of CTEs however, we have a unique opportunity, and in some ways an obligation, to use and optimize social media for our students. I put together this Powerpoint for my school’s faculty to introduce social media to the unitiated and to suggest some ways for us to implement social media to help our students start their careers and expand their sphere of learning. I also added some information about PLNs to help instructors. CTE instructors, particularly those who teach technology, have to be on top of the latest technology to make sure the curriculum we teach and the labs that we run are as current as possible and PLNS are a great way to do that. Unfortunately, I’ve found the CTE community to be sparse on the interwebs, but hopefully this will help me find more CTE instructors passionate about social media and what it can do for our students. I uploaded the presentation to Slideshare and will be updating it from time to time. I also plan to do a follow-up workshop specifically for students in CTE schools. The presentation is pretty broad in scope and should not be particularly confusing or technical for newbies. Any feedback that you have would be more than appreciated. It also features an embedded YouTube video on what a PLN is by @skipvia, which by the was really helpful during the presentation. I hope you find it useful.