Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Using Social Media as Professional Development: Facebook

As mentioned previously, this is one of a series of posts. You can find a post on BloggingFacebookPinterest/Instagram, and Twitter (What a Twitter Chat isHow to use Twitter as PD).


If you never received a participation award when you went to school... that puts you in a certain age bracket.  If you are in this age bracket, you most likely use Facebook in your personal life.  So maybe professional development on Facebook is right for you.

I'm going to explain Facebook from an Art Teachers perspective.  I'm sure that there are pages and resources for other subjects as well on Facebook.

When I started to look for PD on Facebook I started my own page.  I invited other Art Teachers and Artist that I was friends with.  It really wasn't a big group.  Then I was invited to join a group called Art Teachers.  This page currently has over 7500 teachers and Art Education Gurus on it.  When I follow social media, I try very hard to only follow positive messages.  Sometimes this page has got a little negative, but for the most part... the MAJORITY of the time... it is all about sharing ideas, collaborating, and asking for advice.

There are a LOT of well known, power people in the Art world that are a part of this group.  These two screenshots above show that there are teachers from my district, from Minnesota, and the rest of the States and world.  You see people like Nancy Walkup and George Szekely who are well known Art Advocacy Leaders.  Power Bloggers like Laura Lohmann, Phillis Levine Brown, Patty Paulmer, Holley Bess Kncaid, Susan Bivona... Fugelstad, Gillespie, Staten, Stephens... There are many from  The Art of Education leaders in this groups such as McCormick, Bogatz, Balsley, and Gillespie... These are just the first two screenshots I took as I opened this page. They represent the diverse audience in this group.

Some of the advantages you can find in this group are the events.  For example, Rina Einwohner Vinetz has started an event that involves Artist Trading Cards.  This is a great way for teachers to find each other for a one to one (school to school), Artist Trading Card Swap.

Another advantage is the sharing aspect the members of this group have created with files, documents, and images.  They are all specific to my instruction and have become a great resource for me.

There are other groups too that I'm a member of.  They all offer the same energy and Professional development such as the Midwest TAB-Choice Art Teachers and Play Based Art Teaching.  Both of these are public groups, so that means you can choose to join.  Some of the other groups you have to be invited to join, most of the time any member can invite someone to the group, if you are interested in joining, simply contact a member.

Sometimes groups have been started after other professional development such as a class.  This summer I took a class about flipping the Art Room through the Art of Education.  After, I was invited to continue the conversation by joining a group called... Flipping the Art Room (private group).  A great Art Teacher from WI, Jen Dahl, also started a page called UW-Stout Art Education Alumni (private group).  I have loved this one to continue conversation with the people I graduated college with.

Other FB pages were created to support a blog such as Jean Van't Hul,  The Artful Parent.  She has a strong blog and it's very much supported on facebook with her page. All you have to do for pages like this is 'LIKE' them and you will get feeds into your page often with the updates on their blog.  I look at this as one-stop shopping.  This is just ONE example of many, many Facebook pages that can be found with a little searching.

Like I said earlier, I talked about the Art world because I know it, but the takeaway for someone looking for a different content area, is with a little search, you could find many, many pages that can support your curriculum on Facebook.

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