It's important for teachers to consider how best to use social networking for professional development.
Here are 10 basic guidelines of personal use of social networking sites for faculty:
1. The first rule is treat others online as you wish to be treated online!
2. Introduce yourself - existing members, and potential colleagues, will often reach out to you.
3. Use the same username on different platforms - it’s easier to communicate and establish contacts if you keep the same name.
4. Upload an image of yourself, or at least some image that denotes something about you.
5. Join established conversations - often what you want to discuss is already being discussed; take a moment to see what people are conversing about, and who is participating, and join in.
6. Share as much as you take - it's an online participatory democracy that only works if people contribute.
7. Don't "protect" too much - protecting your posts/tweets will make it more difficult for potential colleagues to find you.
8. Don't post too much personal information - most people don't want to know what you had for breakfast, but rather what you're reading, viewing, writing, thinking, and teaching.
9. Converse, don't yell - always going off your own idiosyncratic gripes is a quick road to online isolation.
10. Consider separate professional and personal accounts - some educators converse with students via one account and their family and friends through another.