I currently treat Twitter like my daily newspaper. I usually check my timeline every morning, check for updates at lunch, and do a double check in the evening. I like to follow Highway Hotline and Regina Radar to help me with my daily commute, Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Health Authority to help me navigate this pandemic, and some other accounts for fun like Victoria’s Tavern and Milky Way so I know what the daily specials are. ( If you don’t know about #GC365, #GC52, or #Fod then you should!)
I’ll never forget last March when I was checking Twitter in my office and the Government of Saskatchewan just casually announced that Saskatchewan schools would be closed indefinitely due to the pandemic through a tweet. Now I get nervous whenever they announce a press conference, because I never know what it may bring for schools.
In addition to news items, I also use Twitter for educational purposes. However, I will admit my Twitter use does go in waves. I fluctuate between multiple original tweets, retweets only, and then just lurking. My account may appear to be dormant at times, but I am always lurking.
Due to this class, I have been pushing myself to publish original tweets daily and I am already starting to see the benefits. Last week I tweeted about my students starting an online hockey STEM program called Future Goals – Hockey Scholar. It’s a really cool online program sponsored by the NHL and NHLPA that teaches students STEM topics through a hockey lens.
Then I saw this tweet posted by Future Goals and learned about Oilers STEM Week. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about so I sent them a DM.
One thing led to another and I got my students registered. Due to the time difference between Edmonton and Saskatchewan, my students and I were only able to join in on two live sessions of Oilers STEM week.
On Thursday, my students were able to learn from the Oiler’s Manager of Event Presentation where he shared the ins and outs of Rogers Place’s audio and visual department.
Then on Friday, my students were able to have a live Q&A with 4X Stanley Cup winner Paul Coffey!! Both of these experiences would not have happened for my students if I didn’t see the tweets and communicate with Future Goals.
One use of Twitter I have not yet explored is having my students create their own tweets or having a classroom Twitter account. Our school does have a Facebook and Instagram account that I currently manage. Balancing admin duties, classroom teaching, and being a social media manager is a big job. But there are a few great examples of classroom or school Twitter accounts I follow such as this one or this one.
I will continue to use Twitter regularly and I am excited for another Twitter experience my students and I will participate in – March Mammal Madness that will begin in March. (Stay tuned for the trash talking!)
What has been your experience with Twitter as an educational tool? Do you have a classroom Twitter account? How do you manage it?