In my last blog, I wrote about using social media–facilitated professional development (PD) that allows teachers to form networks to share ideas and strategies with educators from around the world. I specifically wrote about using Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. In today’s blog, I will address three more ways that you can use social networks—LinkedIn, Scoop.it!, and Pinterest—to access professional development.
1. LinkedIn Discussion Groups
LinkedIn is a medium for professionals to connect in thousands of discussion groups. There are two types of groups: members-only and open- group discussions. Members-only discussions can only be seen by other group members. Open-group discussions can be seen by anyone on the web and can be shared on other social networking platforms. My friend and colleague Karen Nemeth, a well-known author, consultant, and PD provider, runs three LinkedIn groups.
- ELLs/DLLs in Early Childhood. This group is the only one of its kind and has 2,200 participants from all over the world. It is a closed group and you will need to request membership from the group leader.
- Early Childhood Technology Network is an open group, and you can participate in it without being a LinkedIn member.
- Early Childhood Consultants, Authors, and Professional Development Providers is a closed group.
Other groups that will be of interest to ESL/bilingual educators are
- ESL & Bilingual Teacher Professionals. This is an open group with a wide range of discussion topics.
- TESOL International Association is dominated by EFL teachers from around the world, but anyone can post a question and develop a new strand.
When I come across articles and blogs that I want to keep and share, I save them to Scoop.it! This is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the net, and share them on a custom-themed Scoop.it! site. It’s like bookmarking articles on Delicious, but with a more visual and online magazine-like format.
I use Scoop.it! to save articles under the following five topics:
- Common Core and English Language Learners is a collection of articles on academic learning for ELLs in general and how the Common Core affects their learning.
- Immigrant Children and Trauma contains articles that include children suffering from trauma, violence, and chronic stress; those living in poverty or are homeless; and those undocumented immigrants that have recently arrived in the United States.
- Social Networking for Educators is a group of articles on educators building personal learning networks on social networking sites in order to obtain better PD.
- Technology in the K-12 Classroom contains articles on the use of technology in schools including apps for iPads, 1:1 technology programs, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) ideas.
- How Collaborations Benefits ELLs contains articles of a range of collaborations including teacher-to-teacher, administrator-to-teachers, and teacher-to-student.
I have to admit that I’m not a big pinner on Pinterest. I keep a Pinterest board of educational books worth reading, but I use it predominantly to get ideas and inspiration from other people’s boards. There are some amazing boards out there with thousands of followers. Here is a list of 35 Educators You Should Follow on Pinterest that contains general education boards. I also wanted to include some of the ESL educators that I follow on Pinterest:
- Larry Ferlazzo, a Twitter superstar, has more than 12,000 pins on three boards. Larry is an award-winning English and social studies teacher from California and writes a well-known blog, Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day.
- Learn English. This board is very large and is pinned by a group of EFL educators.
- All Things ESL for Educators. This Pinterest page is pinned by Beth Crumpler, a freelance curriculum writer and e-learning content developer.
- Shelly Sanchez Terrell. Shelly has a huge presence on Twitter and many of her followers have migrated to her Pinterest boards.
- Debbie Fucoloro has 55 boards including a wide variety of educational topics.
- Shaeley Santiago is a voracious reader of educational books and a friend from Twitter. You will enjoy her selection of books and comments. Shaeley is a K–12 ESL instructional coach in Ames, Iowa.
If you want to start a Pinterest board of your own but aren’t sure how to use Pinterest in your classroom or how it would benefit you as a teacher, read
37 Ways Teachers Should Use Pinterest.
Are there other ways you use these three social media channels for PD? Please share!