To begin with … I am, and have been, a supporter of social media. I have been on Twitter since June of 2012 when I went to the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Summer Workshop in Austin and went to a session on using Twitter as a tool for personalized learning. I talked to my teachers about it and many of them have also joined in and use Twitter on a regular basis for their own learning and sharing. I also use Instagram to share pictures and information, mainly because most of my students use it, and I wanted to be able to get information to them as well as show off the good things that are happening at our school. I do see the value in social media !!
However, I have not ever been on Facebook even though I knew it was the most widely used form of social media. The superintendent at my previous school would not allow us to have a Facebook account for our school (he called it The Evil Empire), so I just didn’t worry about it for my school or for myself.
I have been contemplating getting on Facebook for a while now, not really personally, but for my school. I think we have done a fair job this year of reaching parents, but I knew it could be better. I got with one of my teachers the other day and she talked me through creating a personal Facebook account so I could then create a Facebook page for our school. After doing this, I linked it with our school’s twitter account so now when I post on Facebook, it automatically posts on Twitter. That was one benefit … one post goes to two places, but the main benefit so far has been the ability to reach so many more people. To be honest, I was really amazed and pleasantly surprised. In just a few days of my school being on Facebook, we have tripled the amount of people who we reach and that are able to get information. Now more people can see all the good things that are happening at our school. It is important that we tell our stories of all the good things that are happening in our schools because many people never hear about the good … they only hear the bad … and if that’s all they hear, then that’s all they think is happening. People thrive on the negative, but I want to spread the positive.
So with that, I am now officially personally on Facebook and I am a little shocked. It amazes me not only the sheer number of people that are on Facebook but also how much time people are on it as well as the amount of information that gets posted. I have used Twitter as a tool for my own learning and then occasionally I would share something that is just useless random information. But with Facebook, I will have to get used to people putting every bit of their personal information out there for people to see and read about. And I will have to caution myself to not do that as well.
Being on Facebook for these last few days has really opened my eyes even wider to the value of social media and the ability to reach so many people. It also has reminded me to be wary of the pitfalls and that we should exercise some caution while connecting in the world of Facebook.
And to anybody who is my friend on Facebook, please be patient with me as I am still learning.