If you are an educator or a parent, you probably realize there are several online community sites available for teachers and concerned parents that are said to offer support, guidance, and ideas. Below are four of the top online communities for teachers and parents and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Next time you have a question about helping a student or figuring out what to do next time in the classroom, these sites might be of assistance.
Of all the sites that we reviewed, TeachersConnect is the one true teacher community created solely for educators. Its focus is on community interaction instead of selling ads, selling products or selling your personal data. It’s not a one-way channel like many educational sites where they create all the content and you just consume it.
TeachersConnect is an online community built by a group of former and active teachers. It is a place where ideas, advice, and resources can be exchanged freely by educators who are interested in helping one another through the obstacles of education. One drawback to TeachersConnect is that it’s new and relatively small compared to the others. It just launched in January 2018 and seems to be growing rapidly.
With about 350 million people actively using it every month, Twitter is one of the largest social media sites in the world. However, you may not have heard about their Twitter EdChats.
Twitter’s education chats are sort of like a virtual classroom where people can sit in the front row and control the discussion or lurk around in the back just observing. Plus, there are countless chats that deal with just about every educational topic. The bad news is that each chat lasts about an hour and it can be difficult to share ideas and thoughts in 280 characters or less. In addition, watch out for the trolls on here. Just like all popular social media sites, there are people on there with the sole purpose of causing trouble.
Facebook Education Groups
Just about everyone has their own personal Facebook page nowadays. So joining a Facebook group that discusses educational topics can be quite simple since you are already familiar with the layout. They have a few distinct advantages, too. It is easy to have a conversation going back and forth, there are thousands of educational topics to review, and you can actually feel like you are making friendships with other concerned parents or educators.
One drawback, though, with any Facebook group is just about anyone can join. This could mean that the posts you are writing and intend to be just for the group could be shared with others outside the group. Your privacy could be invaded and one disgruntled parent or even a complete stranger could make your life difficult.
LinkedIn Education Groups
Think of LinkedIn as like the more mature and professional social media site when compared to some of the other popular ones. It is a great platform to use as an educator as there are many groups to join that discuss educational matters.
There are a couple distinct disadvantages that can go along with using LinkedIn for education. For one, you have to create a time-consuming profile, detailing your career and accomplishments in an effort to be taken seriously. Plus, unfortunately, many of the groups are inactive or dominated by spammers trying to sell their products, services or books.
If you would like to learn more about ways to use technology in your classroom or further discuss ideas about how the internet can assist concerned parents in educating their children, iAchieve can be of assistance. We offer workshops on various subjects like this to help both parents and educators.
Written by Ryan Crawley