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Top Ten Social Media Competencies for Teachers

What are The Top Ten Social Learning and Educational Networking Competencies for K-12 Teachers?*

  1. Help students use educational networking tools to solve information problems and communicate digitally with experts, peers and instructors.
  2. Know the major Web 2.0 categories and tools that are useful in the K-12 setting. Know which tools are provided/supported by one's school.
  3. Use educational networking sites to communicate with teaching peers, students and parents.
  4. Navigate, evaluate and create professional content on networking sites.
  5. Use online networking to create, maintain and learn from a personal learning network - AND their students.
  6. Know the district networking guidelines, follow netiquette, conform to ethical standards and interact appropriately with others, especially students, online.
  7. Understand copyright, security and privacy issues on social media sites and share these understandings with students and professional colleagues.
  8. Understand the importance of identity and reputation management using social media and help students understand the long-term impact of personal information shared online.
  9. Create and follow a personal learning plan to stay informed about developing trends, tools and applications of social media.
  10. Participate in the formulation of school and district policies and guidelines related to educational networking and social learning.

 Et tu, readers? What should make your Top Ten list?

* This idea stolen from modeled after:

Top Ten (10) Social Media Competencies for Librarians (by Dean Giustini)

  1. Understand, explain and teach others about the main principles and trends of web 2.0 (and library 2.0)
  2. List major tools, categories and affordances of social networking sites
  3. Apply social media to solve information problems, and communicate digitally with users
  4. Use social networking sites for promotional, reference and instructional services in libraries
  5. Navigate, evaluate and create content on social networking sites
  6. Follow netiquette, conform to ethical standards and interact appropriately with others online
  7. Explain copyright, security and privacy issues on social media sites to colleagues and user communities
  8. Understand the importance of identity and reputation management using social media
  9. Explain related terminology such as collaboration 2.0, remix and open source
  10. Renew social media competencies, advocate for institutional strategies and policies and build evidence base in social media

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Reader Comments (7)

I think it's really important that teachers realize that they have a valuable resource in their students when it comes to learning about new digital technology. I have learned much from my students. They do not think it odd that I the teacher do not know everything about everything. In fact, they are quite engaged while teaching me how to use something or a quick new short cut. My students and I learn together and isn't it nice that my students can teach me something. It's good for them to see teachers as life long learners and that what we learn changes as circumstances dictate. I guess the competency I am talking about here is to be willing to learn from your students.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElona

Hi Elona,

I've always said that the teachers who survive will consider themselves "co-learners." You've just reinforced that for me. Good suggestion. Thanks!


August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Hi, great list!

I'm wondering why it is 'social media competencies' specifically? Are there other competencies that web2.0 require us to have - the co-learning thing might be one...

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Hi Jen,

I guess "social media" is the buzz word. May Read/Write web or Web2.0 competencies might be more inclusive.

Great point about co-learners. I've often said that teachers who will prosper will be those that consider themselves "co-learners."


October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson


After reading and reflecting on your post I've realize (I should say re-realized) several things.

1. Educational Technology is a constantly evolving field.

2. Education is a constantly evolving field.

3. Educators are not always constantly evolving.

Me included. Over the past several months I have been forced to immerse myself in the field of Educational Technology. It's been hard and saddening. I'm realizing just how much of an ancient curmudgeon I am. And I've only been teaching for 10 years. How can this be? Just a few years ago I thought I was on the cutting edge. I recently read one of Doug Johnson's (the author of The Blue Skunk Blog) old posts from May 2010. The blog was titled "Top Ten Social Media Competencies for Teachers." With my recent "expertise" in Educational Technology, I've modified this list to 5 ideas (or questions) that all educators, regardless of their experience or level of expertise with technology, need to think about NOW!

1. In most districts, students have internet access and a school-based e-mail address. Should they also have a twitter, slideshare, and youtube account for school use? Should they also have a school blog?

2. Is it the schools job (think major school-wide initiative) to get students to use Web 2.0 technology applications, or should it be up to the individual classroom teacher?

3. All students should have a PLN (period)! They should use this as frequently as they use their e-mail.

4. Should we teach students the intricacies of having an on-line identity and the long term aspects of reputation management? What course do we do this in?

5. Should all teachers and students be responsible for creating and following a personal learning plan to stay up-to-date on emerging technologies?

These ideas (questions) could transform the K-12 school experience. How do we, as educators and administrators, make this happen?

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Yesterday, a friend sent me this YouTube video, and I admit that it shocked me. Teachers who do not use social media or at very least teach what it means to use social media responsibly are leaving a huge gap in their students' education. I know we can't be responsible for every aspect of our students' formation as functioning human beings, but we do have a platform and influence. Watch this, and tell me if any of the perpetrators were taught that people who publish online are as real as they are, as real as their friends and family...

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Lindsay

Hi Karen,

There seems to be a growing realization of just how bad the sexism and harassment of women can be online in general. I have read even more frightening accounts of harassment, even to the point of threats of physical violence.

Best we get this in the open and deal with it. I would hate to see the contributions of women to our culture be lessened by the sickos of the world.


December 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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