Archive for February, 2010

Rationale For Teachers Using Twitter at School

I am determined to gather my thoughts on this after attending an esu6 TIG (Tech Integration Group) meeting, as well as reading Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools and 5 Reasons Why Educators Should Network.

At the TIG meetings, discussion keeps going back to the schools’ filtering policies and how these sometimes diminish the things we could be doing in our classrooms with technology.  Without even talking about youtube and other video and images sites, I want to develop my own rational for why Twitter should be available at school.

Reasons I Want Need Twitter at School:

Links, links, and more links!! Last year I got so many links to great educational tools and sites while skimming twitter at school.  There are countless activities I tried and/or learned about just by using my Twitter PLN.  I constantly used ideas and websites from twitter.  Some days I would change my plans in the middle of the day after reading about something someone on Twitter used.  This year I have not had Twitter at school and have noticed that I have not tried many new things in my     classes.    I have tried a few new web tools in classes, but usually this happens right after a TIG meeting while the tools are fresh in my mind.

Motivation. Reading about other teacher’s successes and problems helps me to face my day every time!  One teacher I follow posts his class’s agendas every morning.  I love to see what he’s doing.  He is also a science teacher so I can compare my daily curriculum and feel that I am on track (this is always nice for a new teacher).   Teachers are constantly getting and giving advice through twitter.  Reading these helps me tremendously throughout my school year.

Encouragement. There are not  a  lot of teachers in my building that I seek out for encouragement and advice during the day.  Twitter definitely provides this to me.  I can get instant feedback if I need help with a topic, if I need links, or if I need advice on a situation.  I am not going about this alone!

Reflection. Using twitter during the school day led to my own self-reflection each and every day.  I could think about and get feedback on what I was doing in the classroom all day long!  Reflection has always made me a better learner, person, and teacher.  Without twitter at school, I find it hard to reflect on what I am doing each and every day.  I do not want to blog every day or even every week.  Just thinking in my head has not proven effective enough to make changes the next day.

Current Events.  What else can I say.   As soon as something happens, it can be found on the twitter stream.  I couldn’t believe it when there was an earthquake in Nebraska this year and I had to hear about it from my non-techy husband!  He emailed me the info and said I should use it in my classes.  There is no doubt in my mind that had I been on twitter that day, I would have known with enough time to discuss the event in my classes the day of! I

With all of this said, I feel justified in saying that I am a better teacher with Twitter.  I do have access to Twitter at home, but I have found that other teachers aren’t posting the useful links and discussions outside of the school hours.  With the use of Twitter at school, I think that I am a more excited and motivated teacher, and this trickles down to the students who see me excited about new ideas and technology and are also more excited to try new things at school.

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