I gave the presentation for my teachers association at the district new teacher orientation. Who knew when I volunteered that social media networking would become such an important piece of that "show". Newbies grabbed pencils & paper when I mentioned I had just checked my Facebook and Twitter feeds as I walked in the building. Sharing that questions were being answered on FB regarding Senate Bill 54 in real time for all teachers was a huge positive! Social networking makes a difference when it comes to sharing information - this teacher librarian enjoys being an "information specialist".
I'm so proud of my teacher association - Missouri State Teachers Association - which is keeping Missouri educators informed regarding Senate Bill 54 and its implications for teachers and students this upcoming school year. MSTA has stepped up to give members forums to ask questions on Facebook, Twitter, and its own exclusive Lounge member forum.
Being a teacher librarian - and a geek tribster in good standing - I do believe we teachers need to stand up for ourselves. No matter your personal opinion of this bill, it remains legal and school districts will have to comply. No matter what your teacher association membership, it is up to you to listen and read. This bill known in the national arena as the Facebook Missouri law is not just about social media. It has more legal language buried down in there, that I admit makes me shudder. Listen to this podcast The Pulse: Senate Bill 54 and Social Media which presents MSTA's legal counsel Kyle Farmer's interpretation of other legal aspects of this law.
School opens today for my district's teachers. Usually, I'm happily planning assignments with teachers to use Google Docs, Glogsters, VoiceThread, and more online tools up in the cloud. Now, I'm flinging emails out to web 2.0 resources to double-check open visibility of communication between teachers and students. Honestly, I'm not sure how this will all work out. Much depends on what kind of policies are written by the local board of education. Add the whole package of communication tools, and I have teachers asking about cell phone and email communications. Keep yourself informed - read other Missouri teachers blogs to reflect on their opinions. Kyle Pace gives a thoughtful reflection in What's Done is Done, and William Chamberlain is to the point in Everybody Needs a Backup Plan. Locally, check out our portal Northwest R-I CTA. On the state level, read the MSTA Blog. Plan your school year in the next few days but keep yourself informed of what is happening in your own school district. There is a difference - you as an educator can make that difference.