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Kara Welty talks about the differences between Twitter and Instagram during her presentation at METC.

Educator Kara Welty presented a session titled “Engage Students & Families” at METC on Tuesday. The presentation was centered around connecting teachers with students and their families through multiple social media platforms.

Welty is a teacher at Three Trails Elementary School in Independence, Missouri and said she works to “help students create a positive digital footprint.”

Welty, like many other educators, originally didn’t see the hype or benefit in teachers connecting with their students through social media.  She soon realized the power in communicating online.

“Social media changes so fast,” Welty said. “If you start something, it’s easy to try something else.”

She advocates for the use of Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, since these are the most used by students and the fastest-growing groups for education. Welty shared multiple slides with QR codes embedded that contained tips for social media usage such as knowing your audience, connecting/linking accounts, and how to use a hashtag or handle.

Welty uses trends and encourages student-led accounts, and she often posts ideas that connect to the lessons in class.

“All the great ideas come from kids if you just listen,” Welty said. “I wish I would’ve had that experience as a kid to see them broadcasted in such a positive light.”

By Sydney Olishile and Jalyn Byrd

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