I have just been leading a workshop on using ‘Social Media’ as a CPD tool for teaching staff and always find it so interesting to talk to people within education about the development of new skills. There is a perception that social media can only be used to keep up-to-date with friends & family or to develop a ‘zoo’ but it has a host of other applications that can open up whole new opportunities to network and share ideas. In challenging times when CPD budgets are often reduced, staff can miss out on developing new and exciting ways to engage students – most of which are free and all you need to contribute is the time to practice!Here are some social media statistics from http://econsultancy.com/blog:
- Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours… A considerable increase from the previous 120m.
- Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis. It’s still a fair increase from the estimated 6-10m global users from a few months ago.
- LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide. This means an increase of around 1m members month-on-month since July/August last year.
- Facebook currently has in excess of 350 million active users on global basis. Six months ago, this was 250m… meaning around a 40% increase of users in less than half a year.
Other more interesting facts from http://socialmediaexaminer.com:
The data shows that nearly 72% of young adults and teens use social networking sites, compared to 40% of adults 30 and older.
71% of the younger generation actively maintain a Facebook profile and 75% of the older generation maintain one as well.
So the question we need to ask ourselves is HOW do we harness this technology to develop staff skills and transform learning?
Personally I believe that you need to start small, embed good practice and ensure that what you’re doing has value – otherwise you end up implementing something for the sake of it, with no real point which staff pick up on and value even less! For staff development I would start by using Twitter to set up a PLN (Personal Learning Network) either within a school, across a group of departments or within a Local Authority for a targeted group of staff. This way you’ll be able to engage staff by providing them access to resources, ideas and discussions with like-minded colleagues. Once staff can see ‘what’s in it for them?’ then they are more keen to contribute and get involved.
but I would welcome your comments about the successes you’ve had in introducing Twitter, Facebook et al into the CPD programmes within your organisation….