It's a new school year! Do you know who your students are?

Aaaahhhh, the beginning of a new school year.  The teachers are excited the students are frantic, there’s a wonderful buzz in the air.  More than likely, you don’t know the students that well yet, the students don’t know you, and the first few days are spent getting to know each other, learning the class rules, and establishing a positive learning environment. 

So long as you’re getting to know your students during class, why not do something a little different and get to know them outside of class as well?  Assuming your students are in upper elementary, middle or secondary school, they probably have at least one profile on MySpace, Facebook or Xanga.  SO, why not kick off the year by asking if any student wants to share a little bit about themselves by showing their profile up on the projector? 

Shouldn’t their profile reflect who they are?  And since this IS a public page most likely, shouldn’t they be able to share it publicly?  Be a great way to emphasize safe, responsible and appropriate social networking!

Hey, you’ve looked up your students, right?  They know you’ve looked them up, right?  So break the ice this year and talk about it!


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  1. matt malcore said:

    neat idea with the projector and having kids present their sites. sounds like a perfect way to initiate a real conversation about safety online.

  2. Heather Sullivan- NJ DEN LC said:

    I really like this idea- providing the kid’s networking sites are not blocked in your school 🙂

    I specifically like the secondary (but, for me, the primary) teaching opportunity associated with students who don’t want to share their pages in class. Why not? So many “teaching” roads to go down with that one!

  3. Steve Henneberry said:

    The title of this post reminded me of an old text document floating around years ago with a list of things about incoming students. It included such things as “This year’s incoming student have never seen a TV without a remote control.” It was a great document, with lots of interesting (and sometimes scary) information. I just wish I knew who put it out, and if it was released annually… If it were, the current version would probably include something like: “This year’s incoming students have never known life without MySpace and Facebook.”
    I think your idea of welcoming the social networks into the classroom is a good one. One of my strongest beliefs about creating positive learning environments is that you have to facilitate the development of social bonds for a better affective climate. Allowing your students to “open up” by sharing their online profiles may do just that. Good luck with it…

  4. Angela Maiers said:

    Steve, this is a great way to not only get to know your students but to “bring the outside in”. Social media is a significant part of their life-why should it not be a part of their school lives as well?!? Great idea-thanks for sharing!

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