5 Ways to Showcase Your Teaching Online

How to highlight your work as a professor or teacher online

5 Ways to Showcase Your Teaching Online on The Social Academic blog

Talking about your teaching online is something you may do regularly or have never done before. Today we’re discussing different ways you can highlight your teaching on the web.

Welcome to The Social Academic blog. I’m Jennifer van Alstyne and each month I share tips on managing your online presence. And, I interview grad students, faculty, and researchers in different fields about their work and social media lives.

If that sounds like content you want to see, be sure to subscribe to the blog today.

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We’re talking about 5 ways to share your teaching online:

  • Celebrate your accomplishments on social media
  • Join conversations on Twitter
  • Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching
  • Write a blog post for your department
  • Create a teaching page for your personal website

Have you done any of these before? I hear from people that celebrating their accomplishments on social media is a bit of a struggle. They tell me it feels like bragging, or self-promotion.

Know that the things I suggest are about celebrating the hard work you do. Being clear about what that work is, and why it’s important to you is part of that. But social media isn’t the only way. That’s why I’ve chosen a variety of options.

Okay, let’s dive in on these 5 ways to showcase your teaching online.

1. Celebrate your accomplishments on social media

Sparklers

When you have good news, it doesn’t always feel natural to share it. But you know that this is information people tend to share on social media because you’ve likely encountered it from family and friends.

Here are a few examples of common celebration posts faculty and researchers tend to share:

  • win a teaching award
  • get a teaching job/appointment
  • have a teaching-related publication
  • are presenting about your teaching
  • are promoted

These are big achievements that should be celebrated.

While taking to social media with good news isn’t for everybody, let’s talk about how sharing in that space can be a great idea.

Before that, I want you to know that those big accomplishments aren’t the only things you can celebrate online. If getting through a tough grading session is something you’re celebrating, that’s something your friends, family, and community can cheer too.

Whatever your celebration, sharing it on social media can engage the people who care about you in the conversation. A celebratory post let’s people know what you’re up to. And invites them to cheer you on.

Celebrations on social media are well-liked, and we can tell this because it’s a type of social media post that has high engagement. That means that of the people who view it, a higher portion of them will like or comment on it than other posts.

So leave off the “shameless self-promotion.” Seriously, I’d love if you never said it again.

Instead, be clear with what you’re celebrating, and why it was important to you.

2. Join conversations on Twitter

Phone on table with Twitter app pulled up, next to cup of coffee

Twitter is a social media platform that’s a great place to connect with other academics. A couple new students in my free course on managing your online presence said to me that Twitter felt a bit like “screaming into the void.”

Because of that I want to share this next tip for showcasing your teaching online, and that’s to join conversations on Twitter.

Talking about your teaching online is great, but how do you know anyone’s listening?

A great place to start is joining other people’s conversations, especially on social media platforms like Twitter.

Every day, people talk about teaching. Some of them are likely feeling like they’re “screaming into the void” themselves. Afterall, the half-life of a tweet is only 20 minutes. The chances of the right person seeing the right tweet is only so high.

However, something not everyone knows is that Twitter has a powerful search function.

You may know you can search for hashtags. It helps to know the hashtags most relevant to your field.

A good place to ask if you’re uncertain is by tweeting to #AcademicTwitter, #ScienceTwitter, or #EduTwitter. Because the half-life of a tweet is short, so you may have to try this kind of public question more than once.

Twitter’s powerful search function also allows you to find non-hashtagged content as well. You can type in a keyword and pull up tweets and conversations about the topic you’re interested in.

Chances are you’ll find tweets and threads by people with shared interests. You could even try pairing a keyword with “teaching” to bring up only teaching-related conversations.

A couple quick tips:

  • Some fields will have less recent conversation than others. That doesn’t mean you can’t find people to follow and have future conversations with.
  • When you reply to a tweet, consider introducing yourself! This can be a great way to connect.

And one last thing, Twitter is not the only social media platform where you can join in conversations about teaching. If you’re on Facebook, I recommend looking to see if there are Groups in your field. Check out my social media guide for more ideas of where to connect.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching

Hands holding tablet with Jennifer van Alstyne's LinkedIn profile pulled up

When I say LinkedIn is a great place for academics, some people laugh. They think I’m joking, but it’s a professional network you should be on.

A social media post or conversation has great real-time benefits, like actively engaging with people like your family, friends, and community.

This tip is about updating your LinkedIn profile to share your teaching and teaching-related accomplishments. Updating your LinkedIn profile is more long-lasting than a social media post. And if your profile is public, it’s well-indexed by Google.

In your Work Experience section, be sure to add where you teach and for how long. Add a brief description of your teaching. Most people are used to a traditional bullet-point style list for LinkedIn (kind of like a resume).

Unless you’re actively searching for a job, you want to engage your LinkedIn profile visitors in the story of what you do. Questions like where and when are answered by your affiliation and dates worked. But you also what to answer questions like who, what, and why?

  • Who do you teach?
  • What do you teach?
  • Why is it important/effective?

While you’re at it, go ahead and update the rest of your LinkedIn profile. Here are some of my top tips for you.

Other places to highlight your teaching include your Summary section and in Awards. Be sure to add any teaching-related Publications as well.

4. Write a blog post for your department

Scrabble letters that spell out 'blog'

Have you considered writing a blog post or article about your teaching before?

Writing about your teaching is a great way to share things like successful assignments and projects online. It can also generate interest in your future courses from current and prospective students.

While you may have a personal website you could share this on, I encourage you to reach out to your department’s website person to see if they are interested in a blog post.

This is a great way to help out your academic department, and share it with potential readers who are most likely to take interest.

The good news is that if you do have a personal faculty website or want to share this article on your LinkedIn profile (as ‘Media’ with your Work Experience section), you can. All you need is the link, and you can share your published blog post with any interested reader.

In fact, publishing a blog post on your department’s website is a type of good news you can share as a celebratory social media post.

5. Create a teaching page for your personal faculty website

Woman and man looking at desktop computer screen with Andrew Paulsen's personal website on the browswer

If you have a personal website, you likely have a bio. But not everybody has a web page dedicated to their teaching.

Having a teaching page is a great way to introduce where and what you teach. But I love it especially because you can add as many resources as you want.

For instance, you can share

  • a list of your current and past courses
  • syllabi
  • your teaching statement
  • sample assignments
  • even sample student work (with permission, and under password protection)

Earlier this year I interviewed Ed.D. candidate and former K-12 math teacher Andrew Paulsen. One of the reasons I had him on the show was to talk about how he shared his teaching online.

I like that Andrew shares video of him teaching on his personal website. He has a disclaimer before each video that shares how permission was obtained and from who. This is a good best practice if video is something you’re considering.

Don’t have a personal website? Don’t worry, I have a guide for that too.

There are many ways to highlight your teaching online. But these 5 ways will have great impact for you.

  • Celebrate your accomplishments on social media
  • Join conversations on Twitter
  • Update your LinkedIn profile for teaching
  • Write a blog post for your department
  • Create a teaching page for your personal website

Let me know which you’ll try out in the comments!

Thanks for joining me for “5 Ways to Showcase Your Teaching Online.” I’m Jennifer van Alstyne and I want to thank you for your support, for reading the blog and connecting with me on social media. I love hearing from readers like you.

We have another interview coming out in June with Dr. Chris Cloney. But next up, I’ll be diving into how to prepare your social media profiles for the job market in my next post. So be sure to subscribe to the blog today.

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Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and public relations consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help academics, researchers, and writers control their online presence and share their work with the world.

She holds a B.A. from Monmouth University in English, and an M.F.A. from Naropa University in Writing & Poetics where she was the Jack Kerouac Fellow. Jennifer also holds an M.A. from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Literature and Cultural Studies where she was one of four master’s fellows and a finalist for the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award.

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