Tuesday, September 23, 2014

5 Ways to Grow Your Digital Presence

Do you wonder about the effectiveness of your digital presence? Tweeting has become second nature. Participating in chats has become routine. Blogging, even though originally taken on as a form or reflection, has become an expectation.

As one who appreciates feedback, there is a constant need to measure my own impact on the digital world. I became a teacher, and then administrator, one of many reasons. One of them being that I wanted to shape the minds of learners. Both students and teachers.
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As I take to the waves of social media, I find myself having a voice that I could not have predicted 20 years ago. None of us could. And now that we have this platform we have to consider the words that make up our messages.

So, with that, here are 5 ways to ensure that your message (your tweets, blogs and comments) are not only being heard but also being shared and are working to grow who we are in the digital landscape. Like our reason to get into education to begin with, it wasn't that we wanted to impact just one mind, we were hoping to impact many.

1. Relevant - The information that you share has to make a connection to what it is you are trying to learn right now. Without that parallel the information you are attempting to share becomes irrelevant and the audience will begin to mute the messenger.  The beauty of twitter, blogging and other forms of social media is that both the the person sending the information and the person receiving can help determine relevance.

2. Timely - So much of what we are reading is "in the moment". Scroll through your feed, read the latest posts and pick up the teaching journals within the past few months.  Not only does the content have to be relevant but what we push out to the world has to be "now".  In fact, those that are truly understanding of social media can actually get ahead of being timely and therefore captivate the greatest audience. Look for those that are "ahead of the curve" in education.

3. Practical - Disclaimer - I am not the best writer. Second disclaimer - I don't always have the best idea, right thing to say or even the perfect direction with my thoughts.  What I do know is that the information I am receiving (and therefore sending) has to be applicable in my "real world". Wanting tools, resources and ideas that can be plugged into my working environment is crucial to my own professional growth. I search out tweets, blogs and people that help me be better at my work each day.

4. Connectedness - We are uses of each others information and therefore must build relationships to further deepen our understanding of our profession. Whether as a teacher or an administrator our degree of being connected can be the life-line to our wealth of knowledge. The greatest educators, regardless of their role, become such due to the conversations, collaborations and the creative efforts of being connected globally to their colleagues.

5. Value - We measure our success based on our students performance, our own delivery and reflection and the feedback we receive from the those that we work for and/or work with. Whether our tweets, blogs, our lessons or our conversations have merit will become the true understanding of our value as professionals. Make sure that your message has content that others can correlate to their own worlds.

In the end, these five areas will be the true measurement of whether or not our work, the written word or otherwise, has merit and is viewed as a contribution to the digital world in which we live. If you follow these, then your goal will be accomplished, minds will be reached and your digital presence will grow.