Personally I have always been more aligned with the visitor mentality when considering my own internet usage. While I have made posts to the stackexchange, physicsforums, and quora in the past I never dove into their communities entirely. I step into these sites when I need advise from professionals in the field and then step out, I usually observe their conversations unless I have something specific to add. I use the web as a tool for finding information or entertainment, not as a means of projecting an online identity. Creating a persistent online persona to interact with the world through social media does not come intuitively to me. The observer mentality is rather set after years of practice.
However my EDSS 530 class has given me some new insights into the uses for social media and why educators should be taking part in these communities. Educators need to create a professional presences online since the act of creating and maintaining an online presence invests them into the discussions concerning education that are occurring online all the time. Educators can no longer sit idly by on the sidelines and observe the changes and discussions happening with the educational system. Education has had too many teachers who are only minimally invested in the ideals of education, the system needs more teachers who are truly engaged with the movement towards positive change in our educational system.
Creating and maintaining a professional online presence shows that a teacher is actively searching for improved methods of instructing students. Teaching can no longer be a solitary task completed by teachers in locked rooms with no collaboration. Educators need to work together to create new lessons and instructional practices that are better than the education they received in school. Settling for the same education we have been giving students for the last century needs to end.