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5 Tools to Get Your Presence On

imagesEducators of today face many challenges.  Students live in a face-paced, information- saturated world.  How do educators keep kids engaged, informed, and connected?  Creating your own digital presence as a teacher is key to answering this question.  

If you aren’t sure where to start here are 5 tools that can increase your digital presence.

Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to tell the story of your classroom.  There are many platforms that work for a classroom blog.  We love blogger, wordpress, or edublogs.  Blogger is connected to your Google account if you have one.  Some teachers find that with blogging they do not need a website. Great sites for educators are Edublogs, Blogger, WordPress, and Kidblog.  

Check out these class blogs for inspiration.  

http://icanipadinthirdgrade.blogspot.com

http://mrsevonsthirdgrade.blogspot.com

http://garywoodsblog.blogspot.com

http://thunderamericanhistory.blogspot.com

Periscope

Real time streaming within the Twitter app is a powerful tool.  Participating in Periscope as a watcher or a videographer is a great way to increase your digital presence.  @PreriscopeEdu is being tapped as a Twitter account for educators to follow.  You can bring the world into your classroom with Periscope and provide unique, real-time learning.  Like any app turn on your notifications for Periscope and see what is trending immediately.

Twitter

Twitter is being overtaken by educators!  Use Twitter for yourself professionally to connect with other educators and ideas.  It can take a while to fine tune your professional learning network, but once you have a solid foundation of people to follow, Twitter becomes invaluable. You can use Twitter for your class by creating your own class hashtag.  Simply choose a word and tell your kids what it is, like #mrssmithclass and use it for class discussions.  

Instagram

Now more than ever kids are into instagram.  This generation has been dubbed, the most photographed generation ever.  Kids use photos to express emotion, status, and experiences.  Use instagram as a way to showcase student work, literary themes, science experiments, field trips and more.  Remember, you can set the privacy settings so that only certain people can see your instagram feed.  This is helpful for teachers wanting to only have their students see what is posted.  

YouTube Channel

Create playlists on content that supports your teaching and require students to watch those videos prior to coming to class to increase intervention time and group work.  YouTube channels and playlists are great, because you can add to them throughout the year in order to curate content.  

A Website

Teacher websites provide important links and information to students.  We like Weebly and Google sites.  Both platforms are free and easy to use.  Here are some great teacher websites to check out.  

http://thesimssite.weebly.com

https://sites.google.com/a/bpsne.net/bobier/

http://mrtoellelifescience.weebly.com

https://sites.google.com/a/bpsne.net/team-explorers/home

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