Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tweeting on Twitter

I originally signed up for Twitter never intending to tweet. I saw it as a way to find out what was going on in the world of educational technology. It has been fabulous for that reason. Whenever I had a few minutes I would log on to my Twitter account and browse through a few of the daily tweets sent out by the people that I am following. I found some excellent blog posts this way. In fact, I can count on finding at least one or two interesting articles a day just by checking Twitter out for a few minutes. I often have more success using Twitter for this reason than using my Google Reader simply because if someone has tweeted about a blog post, then it must come recommended, much like a book review for a book. 

A couple of weeks after signing up for Twitter, I took the plunge and started tweeting. I am mainly retweeting interesting articles, but I also tweeted about one of my own blog posts to a couple of colleagues who I thought might be interested in the digital storytelling tool that I had reviewed. It is easy to connect with different people on Twitter and I also like Twitter for this reason.

To date, I have tweeted 21 times and I can see myself continuing to do so on a regular basis. I am enjoying being able to contribute as much as I am enjoying following people.

I found this interesting tutorial on how to Build a Professional Learning Network with Social Media using Twitter. The creator, Miles of Miles' Tomes in Teaching and Learning  does a great job of breaking down how to set up a Twitter account for professional reasons in a simple step-by-step way.

The website Edudemic wrote a blog post in June, 2010 entitled The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook For Teachers. Included in this blog post are a list of ideas for using Twitter in the classroom. I have included a few of them here:

  1. Communicate with parents and students. Twitter assignments, important events, deadlines, and more to keep parents and students updated with important information.
  2. Daily summaries. Give a daily update on each school day so parents can stay in touch with what their children are learning.
  3. Collaborative planning. Teachers and students or students working together can use Twitter to document ideas and share with their collaboration team.
  4. Teacher collaboration. Many teachers collaborate on their lesson plans and teaching techniques and tips. Twitter allows collaborating teachers to share ideas and stay connected easily.
  5. Learn a foreign language. Using a service like twitterlearn or just practicing conversation skills with other Twitterers around the globe, students can practice a foreign language.
  6. Connect with other classrooms. Find a classroom in a different geographic area to create a modern-day pen pal situation where students can learn from each other through their Tweets.
I like these ideas, but am not sure that they would work well at the elementary level due to management and privacy issues for younger students.  For now, I will continue to use Twitter as a way to expand my knowledge of educational technology and all things educational, for that matter. On a side note, I have found Twitter to be very useful for keeping my finger on the pulse of the action surrounding BC Teachers at this time.

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