The only time I’ve ever used Twitter prior to this course was years ago when my sister and I tried to get the attention of her favourite celebrity. Thus, my experience with Twitter was little to none. With that, I was pretty anxious about using it – especially after finding out that we would be participating in a Twitter chat – I had no idea what a Twitter chat was! However, soon after we began the SaskEdChat, I was hooked. Although it was pretty fast-paced, I found that it was such a great way to meet and connect with educators from across the province, learn about my own fellow classmates, and develop my personal learning network (PLN). As we discussed in our meeting, a PLN is a way for individuals to create a collaborative and supportive community in which they can connect with people from across the globe with similar interests. I found that another helpful way of building upon my PLN is through hashtags and scrolling through my Twitter homepage and seeing my peers’ tweets (even if it’s just by lurking). Through these sources, I was able to find Twitter accounts to follow in order to expand my PLN; these accounts include: TeachHUB, Education Week, TeachThought, Edutopia, and Eduporium. These pages offer several helpful resources and articles. I found that recently, a lot of these pages have been tweeting about educational technology and virtual teaching, which I find beneficial and helpful during this time.
In regards to Twitter being used in a classroom setting, I believe that it can be used in a similar way that we use it in this course. For example, in an early elementary setting, Twitter can be used as a form of communication with families. Teachers can share what their students are exploring and learning, share information and resources, and share updates or send reminders. Since Twitter does have different privacy settings, these can be easily adapted to meet parent/guardian requests. In middle years and high school settings, I believe that Twitter can be used exactly how we use it in this course. Each student can create an account in which they can develop their own PLNs, share resources, and connect with each other. I believe that through this, students can begin to learn about the importance of online safety and accountability. It is important that students understand that what they post online stays there forever and that their digital footprint can follow them and can have affects in the long run. An example of this is the article that Katia retweeted from Alec about the teens who posted a racist video on TikTok and faced serious consequences. With that, I believe that implementing the use of online tools, such as Twitter, can help students learn the importance of making wise decisions both in the outside world and online.
I am really enjoying Twitter and my first experience in SaskEdChat was fantastic. I have learned that Twitter can be used for much more than trying to get the attention of celebrities. It can be used as a form of professional development, a way to communicate, collaborate, and build support systems. All in all, my experiences, so far, have me very excited to participate in more SaskEdChats, as well as discover what more Twitter has to offer in terms of professional development and networking.