The role of social media in education: an interview with Tosca Killoran

social media

Tosca Killoran has been an international teacher for the last 15 years. She is a champion of the use of social media to enhance the professional lives of educators worldwide.

Apart from being a lifelong learner, traveler, author and activist, Tosca is the founder of TEDxYouth@BIS and TEDxYouth@NIST events, encouraging young learners to become change agents and transform the world with their ideas. She authors the popular educational blog, ED-ucation through which she shares resources for teachers and parents to promote human values, social and emotional skills, mindfulness and empathy.

Tosca will deliver a free webinar on WizIQ entitled, Social Media in Education: Philosophy and Practice. This webinar is part of the Featured Teachers series, hosted by Fluency MC. To sign up, click here.

In an interview with WizIQ, Tosca discusses the powerful relationship between social media and education and how educators can leverage its potential to the fullest.

  • Please tell us about your teaching experience.

I have been very lucky to have been teaching in the IB international community in Asia and Europe since 2000. I have had opportunities to live in Korea, China, Germany, and Thailand as well as travel to over 50 countries. Currently, I am a digital learning coach at NIST in Bangkok.

  • How has social media helped you grow as a teacher?

Social media has much to do with the connections between humans and the ways in which we construct knowledge. At its core, it is just a tool that can be leveraged to extend our global connectivity in order to challenge our thinking and make our understandings richer. Social media has not established me as an online teacher per se; my interactions with others whilst using it have. We still need to underpin our use of tech with character, empathy and the human curiosity that develops communities of learners. In this regard I love the quote by Jason Ramsden:

‘The question then, should not be what is the role of social media in education, but rather, what is the role of education in a world connected by social media?’

  • According to you, how much time should a teacher spend on social media?

Teachers and learners should spend as much time connected as they need to in order to develop a network, nurture a community of learners and feel balanced in their lives. This varies for each individual. It is about finding the right fit for your practice, your learners and your life.

  • What advice would you give to those teachers who feel apprehensive about starting with social media?

Be a risk-taker and have a play. Start with Twitter. As I write on my blog, “Twitter is a way to gather amazing resources, cutting edge educative practice and to connect with other educators in a globalized world. Not only that, but it flattens the playing field. Gone are the days of waiting for your educative idol to be booked by your school, and then after their half day workshop have that person surrounded by 150 other teachers only to be too shy to even say hello. Nope, now in 140 characters or less (and maybe a photo or video if you want to get fancy) you can get real time advice from experts just by asking. Articles, blogs, resources are all curated at 140 characters, which makes PD fast paced- perfect for busy teachers.”

  • What can attendees look forward to in your upcoming webinar Social Media in Education: Philosophy and Practice?

In this session, we’ll look at the current climate of social media, how that relates to educators, how to develop a social media policy/philosophy and the strengths and limitations of such tools as, Twitter, Vine, Line, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other new tools such as Xpire in the learning environment.

We hope you will join us for this Featured Teachers webinar with Tosca Killoran. Click here for more information and to sign up for free.

 


A marketer by profession and an explorer by nature. I love to read, learn, travel, experiment with new music and food, and have a good laugh.

Comments

  1. Thanks for interesting and innovative ideas. From my own experience I should say that many students communicate easily online than in classroom. Social media in education is perspective brunch, it crushes psychological boarder between teachers and students. The teacher on Facebook or Twetter is not mentor, he is a colleague or simply a friend

  2. Tosca,

    Thanks for the interview – can you offer any advice on how to connect with students who might be hesitant to interact with their teachers outside of the classroom (for example, a student who doesn’t think it’s cool to be seen corresponding with a teacher on FB or Twitter)?

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