This is not a Twitter diss track
Posted On June 2, 2023
When I first started teaching, Twitter was all the rage. So, I created a professional account to get involved and post some of the stuff my classroom and school was up to. Even with similar features (likes, reposts, replies) to other social media at that time (Facebook and Instagram), I felt I didn’t really get any satisfaction from other people seeing/liking/retweeting my updates as I did from the other platforms. Fast forward to now where social media has exploded and in being reacquainted with Twitter, I find I am feeling the same way I felt all those years ago. I’m not sure I can pinpoint why I don’t feel connected to it; I think it comes from a few places/reasons:
- perhaps it is that I am currently away from teaching
- perhaps it is that I typically selectively participate in social media so with Twitter I feel the pressure of participation
- perhaps I feel I miss out on too much if I am away from Twitter too long and I’m trying to minimize anxiety not perpetuate it
- perhaps it is because I am connecting it to my early career and a ‘that’s not who I am anymore’ mentality
- perhaps it feels like an overwhelming resource pool, etc.
- perhaps I feel I don’t have the time to commit to it and I don’t ever do anything haphazardly
I wish I had an answer.
Now, this is not to say that I am not benefiting from reintegrating it into my social media rotation. I am connecting with teachers I never would have been aware of otherwise (and learning from them), I see how relevant it still is (I thought it was passe, but that is not the case), how it can create a sense of community in so many ways, etc. Another benefit to building a PLN on Twitter is that I have followed a few key accounts that I will check back on once I return to the classroom as professional development. One of these accounts is @DitchThatTxtbk . There are some practical and innovative resources this account shares that are helpful in the high school setting, which I find rare across social media (most things are usually geared toward elementary). For example, I love their post of students creating a podcast and can see a few different ways I could use this in different English classes.
I have engaged in one Twitter chat so far and I will say that I had no idea what I was doing but did it anyway for the sake of learning and participating. I think I did okay for a noob; I gave my on-the-spot opinion to a couple questions (I didn’t answer them all) based on my experience in the classroom. One thing I know about Twitter chats is that you can participate after the fact, but I participated live (is that what you call it?) – I know and am confident in my thoughts and opinions, so I wanted the authentic experience of my first Twitter chat with #SaskEdChat. I say authentic because I understand Twitter to be candid thoughts and engagement rather than meticulously planned out and polished answers/content. I will participate in at least one more Twitter chat before this class is over because
- Everything deserves a second try and
- I really like the exercise of connecting with like-minded people and keeping my brain in the teaching game discussing the different explicit and implicit facets of education.
To end, I think, based on my current reacquaintance experience with Twitter, I will continue to use it as a professional development source and resource for implementing new ideas in my classroom, but I don’t think I would have students use it for and in my future classes. This post is not a Twitter diss track and there are many aspects to this app that I find appealing. This is just my honest and personal expression of how I will/will not use it going forward.