-Teachers need time to share.
-If I only had time to talk with other teachers.
-Sharing is important...I just don't have time.
Have you heard any of these statements or some other version similar to this? I have. Well, let me tell you, that's what technology and more specifically, Social Networks, are for...SHARING.
I am a former elementary teacher, former elementary principal. I get it. Teachers are busy. It's very easy to say, "I don't have time to go out and try to find a website" or "Wow! I didn't know that website even existed..." or "...geesh, I feel so left out of the loop. How was I supposed to know how to do that?" OR "I don't have time to sit at the computer and just look around to see what's out there."
Technology makes it very easy to share information. More specifically, internet. Even more specifically, social networking. Oh...I said it. The taboo word in the educational setting. Social Networking! There it was again! It's kind of like saying "Voldemort" in the Harry Potter books and movies. Don't say that! Voldemort! Social Networking!
Twitter, Delicious, Diigo, Facebook, Ning...and others are fantastic ways to share what you know, what you found and what you'd like to know or need help with.
Twitter is a way to share, 140 characters at a time. Depending on who you follow and who follows you, will depend on your success in this platform. Watch this.
Delicious is a "Social Bookmarking" site. Here's how it works. Find a great website > share it to Delicious. By doing this, you've now allowed for others who are using Delicious, to make you part of their "Network" and therefore, can see what you've found! Watch this video about "Social Bookmarking" to gain some perspective.
Diigo is similar to Delicious. I don't use it, but know many that do...and LOVE it!
Facebook is mostly used by people who want to reconnect with their friends, relatives, etc. However, it does have some sharing capabilities other than just what you did last weekend or the picture of you at the fair. If you, the user, decides to post an educational link then all of your friends would be able to see it as well. I know some educators have separate Facebook pages. One is for themselves...and their personal life (yes, it's true, teachers have personal lives). The other page is for their classroom or school. If you choose to have a classroom or school page, then people that "Like" your page, will see what great websites you've shared!
Ning is a website that allow you to create your OWN social network. It's all online...and used to be free, now it's a paid subscription. If you and your fellow teachers want to password protect your stuff and share it among one another, this might be worth looking at.
So get out there (on the internet)...and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Don't find that great website, use it in your classroom and huddle over it like you've just found a pot of gold and you don't want anybody to take it. Share it!