“I don’t Tweet.”
“Twitter? Tweeter? What?”
Okay, I’ll admit it. Those statements might have come out of my own mouth more than once over the past year. I was one of the ones who just didn’t get it. Well, when the president of the United States tweeted live this summer in a ground-breaking first, I knew that I was clearly on the outskirts of technology usage for communication by ignoring Twitter as a viable social media tool with myriad uses. Fast forward a few months and I have finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Aside from the insane amount of peer pressure to join the Twitterverse, what meaningful ways is Twitter a valuable part of the educational conversation?
Well, that is exactly what it is. It is THE educational conversation platform. No, I don’t mean to imply that it is this platform for higher thought and deeper analysis of all things relevant to your classroom. That is simply not true. You will get more than your share of–dare I say—CRAP on Twitter. Not sure what I mean? Try a hash tag and your name or the subject you teach. You will invariably pull up some tweet that has been made about you or what you teach. All of the potentially ego crushing, disparaging remarks aside, Twitter offers a great forum for on the fly communication in real time. Here are a few of the potential benefits of becoming an infamous Tweeter.
1. A platform to share ideas immediately with your audience. For my journalism students, we use this to announce things that are going on in our school, in the local, national, and international community. It takes 2 seconds to make a post and instantly all of your followers have information that they may have missed.
2. Twitter offers a bevy of networking opportunities for you as a teacher. I have numerous ‘Twitter buddies’. These are people that I follow or who follow me that I consider to be a wealth of information. One such teacher (who doesn’t even follow me) is Mrs. Silveri. This Milken Award Winning AP Language and Literature teacher is AMAZING! When I feel drained or out of ideas, I head over to her page to see what is going on in her world. She always has cool techniques and ideas that leave me spellbound. This is great if you work in a professional community that is limited or with peers who don’t share your interest in flat world teaching. You don’t have to feel isolated, you have an entire Twitterverse of colleagues to learn from.
3. Twitter is also great for the selfish. Yes–I said selfish. I LOVE to see what people have to say about me, my students, or Tiger Talk. It also lets you see who follows your page. For Tiger Talk, we know exactly who hears from us each day. We encourage this by offering information that may be of interest or useful to that group. Additionally, if we publish something that we want others to read, we can tweet a link to the article for an immediate audience.
These are just a few of my most immediate reasons for loving Twitter. Hopefully, you will take the plunge and combat illTwitteracy in the Twittersphere. Twitterville. Twitterland. Twitterverse. Get all A-Twitter about this cool social media resource.
Hey…Retweet this. 🙂