This is cross posted on Inside Teaching.

Welcome Back!
We’re excited to welcome our Inside Teaching MSU Network–both returning and new–to fall semester! We’re also excited to continue building on our momentum from across the ’14-’15 school year! Last year, we launched our blog and had numerous popular posts on providing more efficient feedback, social media basics, and cultivating inclusive classrooms. As a group of Inside Teaching Fellows, we defined our mission statement and objectives. We also held in-person teaching lounges about learning from your failures, anti-oppressive classrooms, and best practices for teaching online. Whether you’re already involved with Inside Teaching MSU or brand new to it, we hope you will engage with our network both in-person and digitally this year.

We’re looking forward to providing you with a whole host of new blog posts, new teaching lounges, launching a new website (more on that soon), and kicking-off a hashtag campaign this fall: #iteachmsu! In fact, we’re launching #iteachmsu with your help right now! In this post, I will share with you the benefits of engaging with us via social media, what #iteachmsu is, and provide examples of how we hope you will use #iteachmsu to further engage with our network and promote teaching excellence within and beyond MSU.

Why Inside Teaching Social Media?
Social media can help provide you with a Professional Learning Network (PLN) to engage with around teaching and learning in higher education. This provides support and opportunities to share questions, ideas, materials, etc. By following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook,  you will be notified about weekly blog posts written by your peers, updates on teaching and learning related events and conferences, and helpful teaching tips and resources from across the web. By engaging with #iteachMSU you can crowdsource questions, find ideas from your peers, and share what’s going on in your classroom. By working together, we can become better teachers and learners and find support when we need it, all for free, anywhere, anytime! We hope you’ll be an active part of our network today by helping us launch the #iteachmsu campaign.

#iteachmsu: It’s us and it’s you!
We are launching the hashtag #iteachmsu right now with your help. For those of you new to social media and hashtags, a hashtag is a word or short phrase used to identify and organize interactions on a specific topic on social media. We chose #iteachmsu because it not only is a shortened version of our name (Inside Teaching MSU) but is also a powerful statement of your important work: “I teach MSU classes and students.” We hope #iteachmsu will allow people to join the conversation, brand our presence at MSU and in higher education, promote events, and encourage interaction and engagement. Each time you tweet or post using this hashtag you’re affirming your individual and our collective work promoting teaching excellence at MSU and beyond!

How to Engage with #iteachmsu
If you’re like me, it’s difficult to join in something where I don’t know how to interact. What’s the best way to share with our network? To get you started, I’ve provided some strategies and example tweets for you to start sharing and engaging with our network:

  • Pictures: A picture can be easy to share and captures a reader’s attention. It is also often worth more than 140 characters on Twitter! You can take pictures at Inside Teaching or class events. It would also be neat to snap a shot of yourself on the first day of class. In addition, the work you do in teaching, like arranging your classroom and assessments would be valuable.* Example:
    • #iteachmsu and I’m excited to start the semester!
    • Getting my classroom set up for the day. #iteachmsu
  • Questions: Asking questions to a network of people passionate about teaching is very practical. Crowdsource your challenges, requests for resources, and how-tos in teaching and learning! Part of being in a network is helping each other. Example:
    • Anyone have ideas for more efficient feedback? #iteachmsu
    • Wanting to try out class discussion. Any ideas? #iteachmsu
  • Ideas/Resources: What new methods are you trying out! What do you think would be helpful for your teaching colleagues? Share that with our network! Example:
    • Just tried out [teaching method] and it worked! Details here: [link] #iteachmsu
  • Celebrations: What are you excited about! Did you have a great day of teaching and just want to celebrate with a larger network who is just as passionate about teaching as you are? We’d love to celebrate with you!
    • Love being a teacher! #iteachmsu

Let’s Go!
Keep in mind the above strategies are only a starting point; act to find what works best for you. We hope this and our hashtag campaign assists you in engaging with others who are passionate about teaching. The time has never been better to join our network. While you’ll always be welcome, sooner is better than later! You can start today with #iteachmsu!

We’ve selected a few resources to utilize when getting started:
The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag
Anatomy of a Tweet

*We’re excited for you to share with us! But please remember to not share pics or details related to specific students.