I will admit it. I am new to Twitter and still getting used to using Twitter. I am not a Twitter expert. I make a conscious effort to log in everyday and read posts and retweet posts. Right now, I am considering myself a “lurker” on Twitter; I rarely post and just retweet and link articles. In the future, I may become more comfortable with Twitter and post my own content. I found an article, 10 Must-Learn Lessons For Twitter Newbies and figured I would read about being a Twitter Newbie. My favorite point in this article is point four “It’s okay to lurk”, where it discusses how Twitter has a lot of data on it and to access this data, you do not need to post anything but can just read the data already on there. Many of the tips were discussed during class, however it was good to refresh my mind on some of these tips as we get a lot of information during class.
In terms of where I think Twitter will take me with teaching, I believe as I get more comfortable with the platform, I will be willing to use it in my classroom. I have already followed Regina Catholic Schools and Regina Public Schools on Twitter and it has given me endless ideas of how to use Twitter in the classroom. It has also given me ideas of integrating certain content into the classroom. I explored many different classroom teachers’ Twitter pages. I examined in detail one classroom Twitter account. The teacher’s name is Ms. Ross and she teaches grade one at St. Catherine in Regina (I found her by scrolling through posts that Regina Catholic Schools has retweeted). It appears that she uses Twitter on a daily basis for her classroom. Her posts include her students completing their work. If I was a parent in this classroom, I would be very excited to follow the account, as I could see the work they are doing. Further, I can feel as though I am part of the classroom. In this one particular tweet, I can see that the students are engaging in hands on activities:
I can also see that they are completing the curriculum as objects and materials is from grade one science and she has several pictures of students engaged in sorting objects and materials. As I scroll through her Twitter, I can see that she engages students using different instructional strategies.
Further, on Ms. Ross’ Twitter, it is connecting her classroom to other classrooms. This I believe is a big advantage to using Twitter in the classroom. You can see that in this thread, she has connected with a student teacher who is teaching in Kansas.
If Twitter is being shown to her students, this could open conversations as to where Kansas is and possibly the two classrooms could connect in the future. The classrooms could compare the differences between the classrooms or even the cities they live in. For me, this is one of the ways that I hope to use Twitter in the classroom. By connecting with different classrooms, the students are able to see how other students’ learn from around the world. The students and teachers are able to collaborate with each other.
While I have found so many positives to using Twitter, there is one part that I am weary about and that is when parents do not sign the media release form and therefore you are unable to post pictures of the student on Twitter. In using Twitter in your classroom, you must be very cognizant of this. The reason that I bring this up is because in my internship we had several students whose parents did not sign the release form and therefore could not take and post pictures of themselves. For me, it would be something I would be worrying about; accidently taking a photo of the student and then posting it. While this will not stop me from using Twitter, I believe it is just something that I must be aware of and think about how to feel as though this student is still very involved in the classroom. If a student could not have his/her picture shown, they may feel left out, or that they are not part of the classroom community if everyone else is being photographed on Twitter. I would be curious as to if teachers had to deal with this and or if anyone has any tips about this.
Overall, I can see myself using Twitter in the classroom because it has so many benefits. Your classroom is connected to other classrooms, in the same city as you, but also in other parts of the world. I believe it allows teachers to connect and collaborate. It is a benefit for parents as well. I am very excited that I explored Ms. Ross’ Twitter page for her classroom and look forward to exploring other Twitter accounts that are used in the classroom.
Until next time,