If someone came up to me three months ago and asked if I would ever join Twitter, my response to them would have been “No way.” I thought I already knew what Twitter was all about. In my mind, it was a space for celebrities to post funny comments and gain a larger fanbase or for Donald Trump to share his opinions on various topics and warn people of so called fake news, which I quite frankly am not interested in reading. Despite my feelings toward Twitter and its purposes, I reluctantly made an account for the first time a couple weeks ago because it was a requirement for my EDTC 300 course. I am happy to announce that I am now a proud Twitter user and enthusiast. You can check out my profile here!
Over the last week, I have found myself spending more time on Twitter than Instagram and Facebook combined. This absolutely blows my mind, as I used to spend hours mindless scrolling through both of these social media platforms. I have come to love Twitter because of the amount of relevant, educational, and genuinely interesting content I have been able to find on the platform. I enjoy posting on Twitter so much because the articles, links, and pictures I am sharing there are not just things I find cute or funny. Instead, they are real stories and resources that speak to my personal interests, beliefs, and educational philosophy.
One of the other reasons I love Twitter is due to the potential it provides for me to grow my personal learning network, or PLN. If you are not familiar with this term, here is a short video explaining it:
I have already begun developing my PLN and have been able to connect with tons of current and future educators through Twitter, most of which was thanks to the #Saskedchat. I participated in my first Saskedchat using TweetDeck during our EDTC 300 class last week. TweetDeck definitely helped me stay on top of things; however, I was still very overwhelmed. It was a super fast paced chat, and I could not believe how quickly my phone began to blow up with notifications from people replying to and liking my tweets. When it was all over, I realized that I had gained over 25 followers within the one hour the chat took place! It was an incredible experience. I believe it is one of the best ways to grow your PLN and connect with fellow educators. I hope to participate in more Twitter chats in the future, starting with #bcedchat on Sunday.
I can see how Twitter could be a great tool to use in the classroom, and this is something I hope to explore more throughout my time in university. I have never had a teacher who used Twitter for learning purposes, so this concept, much like Twitter in general, is new to me. I think Twitter could be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. I can see myself holding a Twitter chat, much like the #Saskedchat, during class to allow all students the chance to share their responses to a question at the same time. I think this would be engaging for students, and it would help with assessment because I could go back and look at their responses after the class had ended. In addition, a Twitter chat may encourage quieter or more introverted students to share their opinions without having to raise their hand or speak in front of a large group. I can also see Twitter being useful for reminding students of deadlines and for students to explore ideas for a project or assignment. Overall, I think Twitter is an extremely positive learning tool with unlimited potential. I am looking forward to learning more about it and continuing to use the platform to grow and develop my PLN!