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Social media in the classroom — and beyond

Social media in the classroom — and beyond

Julie's daughter Cat in front of the White House

Last week, my 13-year-old daughter left bright and early one morning for a school trip to Washington DC. The trip had been planned for nearly a year, and her excitement had been steadily building. Two of her teachers chaperoned the trip, and no parents were asked to come along.

Prior to the trip, parents were informed that one of the teacher chaperones created a Twitter handle just for the trip. He told parents he would be tweeting throughout the trip – where they went, what they were seeing and where they are going. This would give parents – especially ones nervous about sending their kids on a “grown-up trip” – the opportunity to track the class’ way through DC!

As a social media professional, I’m thrilled to see how social media is being embraced by schools, especially in cases like this where it makes perfect sense. I hope the trend continues, perhaps with a hashtag assigned to an upcoming event or, in cases of trips like this one, creating a Foursquare account and encouraging the kids to check in and write updates about their experiences.

While my husband and I knew our daughter was in in excellent hands on the trip, we struggled a little bit with letting go. Having the option to “check in” on where she was and what she was doing made it just a little easier to let her go.