Hi and welcome (or welcome back) to my blog. This week we went venturing into the world of Twitter. I felt extremely confident in my social media and technological skills until I found Twitter again #help
Twitter is another social media platform where hashtags actually began and are most useful, especially when attempting to social network with other professionals. Personally, I have never really enjoyed Twitter as a platform because I feel like Facebook does better at allowing me to update people on my life. I got so invested in Facebook, I actually removed Instagram for about a year – this was a good year. I also find that my circle of friends and family do not use it themselves, so why would I?
On Wednesday, Feb 3rd, I was able to experience my first ever #saskedchat through Twitter and Tweetdeck. This was the beginning of my impression of Twitter changing. Tweetdeck is exactly what it sounds like, a deck for tweets; it complies whatever information you want to see into one place. Tweetdeck made it extremely easy to have all of the coordinating pages open at once so we could follow the tweets SaskEdChat was posting and also follow the tweets that used #saskedchat. This allowed us to easily communicate with others in the chat and made for great conversations and coverage of the answered questions. I found it great for networking with other teachers who are all over the world and see their thinking when it came to answering the questions.
As I have mentioned, I do not use Twitter personally or professionally, until now. It is a great way to network with other professionals. I still do not see the benefit as a personal social media platform, however, because of the presence of educators and other professionals, I can see the benefit of using Twitter. For example, it is a great way to promote yourself as a teacher, lifetime learner, and to promote your professional development.
You can use it to follow others who are further your knowledge on specific subjects that you may or may not have a lot of information on or to improve on your cultural responsiveness. For example, I have only some information on how to be culturally appropriate on topics such as First Nations, LGBTQ+, Treaty Education, etc. For me, it will be beneficial to search those hashtags and follow anyone who understands them more than I do. This will allow me to ask these people for resources and/or have them as a contact if you ever need them as a guest in your classroom.
If I were to use this in the classroom, I would use it for chats like I experienced last week. For example, if we were learning about nutrition in a Health class, I would post specific questions about that topic and have the students reply to me and to their classmates to begin a conversation. It also brings more technology into the lesson which is much more engaging than a conversation in class. I know, from experience, that not all students like to join in on class discussion because they are uncomfortable, however, with Twitter, they can voice their opinion without feeling judged by others around them.
Although this sounds wonderful, I need to think of all stances when bringing something such as this into the classroom. So, say we do exactly what I mentioned above, what are some cons to this?
- Do all students have a device they can use to participate either at home or at school? Well, sometimes schools do not have enough computers for the whole classroom, so do they have an iPad, iPod, or phone to participate? Maybe or maybe not?
- How are you going to make sure no one is inappropriate when replying to others? This might become an issue specifically for middle- to high-school students. Is there a way? What restrictions would need to be in place for this? What can you do as a teacher to avoid negative experiences? Do you have it graded?
- Are all students going to enjoy it equally or are there going to be some that are completely against technology? This depends on the classroom – you may have to gauge whether your students would enjoy it or not.
The only reason I think this way is because I have taught middle school and I did have quite a few students that would abuse the use of computers and potentially be inappropriate, therefore ruining the whole experience for everyone involved.
Would you use Twitter in your classroom? If so, how?
To conclude, I really do not enjoy Twitter but I have opened my eyes to the possibility of using it. For someone who was around when Twitter came along, I still will not use it personally or professionally. I would much rather insert myself in a situation that I can meet other educators in person. For example, professional development opportunities when teaching and they are paid for (ha ha). Certainly 2020 and 2021 are not shaping up for those face-to-face meet and greets, however, I am sure there are a lot of PD days occurring over Zoom, which I would also love.
Anyways, til next time!
Is this really a Twitter blog post without the #blessed?