While most districts are still figuring out Web-based collaboration tools from pedagogical and security perspectives, a large number of teachers are already out there using these tools to supplement instruction, engage learners, and encourage their students to become producers of information, as well as consumers of it. In other words, they're experimenting (Nagel, 2008). 1. Digital Media Sharing & Learning Communities that include such sites as – Schooltube.com: 1. SchoolTube provides students and educators a safe, world class, and FREE media sharing website that is nationally endorsed by premier education associations (Schooltube, 2009). 2. Blackboard: You may not have thought about Blackboard as a social media tool, but it offers all the interactivity you can desire with students and with parents. Corporations and nonprofit organizations now use this platform to stay in touch with employees and members, for educational purposes and to increase organizational performance. 3. Moodle: This virtual learning environment is free to use, and it includes a myriad of ways to build ‘community’ in the classroom (Digital Learning People, 2009).
Great digital media sites for teachers include: 1. 4Teachers: If you want to learn how to teach with technology, or if you want to hone your current skills and teach others what you know, then this venue might be for you. Learn about new tools, get support and stay on top of your game. 2. Promethean Planet: Billed as “the world’s largest interactive whiteboard community,” this site offers support for teachers through searchable resources, lessons, educational Web links and many more tools.
3. ProTeacher Community: This is a community for school teachers in grades PreK-8. Participants mostly are from the U.S., but guests from around the world are invited. 4. TeacherLingo: Tryout this educational community that connects teachers from every educational level.
5. We the Teachers: Find teachers in your neighborhood or from around the world to share lesson plans and other classroom resources (Digital Learning People, 2009).
While all of these sites are wonderful, we must remember that we have a responsibility. Social Media is a wonderful tool for educators and helps us bridge the gap. The future is literally at our fingertips, but with that comes a greater and more important factor; to teach our students the responsibilities of online learning. Not everyone out there wants the same things we want for our students, and not every parent is monitoring their children as much as you and I would monitor our own. Keep in mind, that social media means teaching kids to be responsible and smart while accessing information. While we do our best to keep the “bad guys” out in school, we don’t have that luxury when they leave our rooms. First and foremost, do your best to keep them safe and smart.
Nagel, David. (2008). Spotlight: Free social media tools for educators. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from
Schooltube.com. (2009). About schooltube, page 1. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from http://www.schooltube.com
The Digital Learning People. (2009). 25 excellent social media sites for teachers. Retrieved September 21, 2009 from,