I can’t get enough of Twitter! I first started using Twitter about 5 years ago. I had attended the Reading for the Love of it conference in Toronto and I attended a session on how to incorporate more technology into my classes. The presenter (alas, her name escapes me) talked about how she used Twitter as a way to communicate with parents on a daily basis. I jumped on board right away and was eager to get back into my own class to try it out.
Classroom Twitter Account Facts and Realities
- I maintain a private account that only parents of current students are able to follow
- I tweet daily about events, activities, conversations, projects, reminders and basically anything that happens in our school and class
- I take full advantage of tweeting while on Field Trips, parents who are unable to volunteer really appreciate this
- When posting work examples, I ensure to never include a student’s name
- I refer to my students as the Wolf Pack (our school mascot is a wolf)
- I refer to individual students as Wolf Pack members and not by name
- I refer to younger students from other classes (ie: our reading buddies) as Wolf Cubs
- By spring every year, I have two students take on the responsibility of sending out a daily tweet, they are known as the Media Relations Team for the day
- By allowing students to tweet, I am able to teach about responsible digital citizenship using an authentic yet safe learning opportunity
- By tweeting daily (usually multiple times a day), I have created a pedagogical archive of my entire school year
- I find tweeting much easier and less time consuming than setting up and maintaining a class website
- Teach Hub has compiled a list of great ideas and ways to use Twitter in the classroom
As each year goes by, I have more and more parents joining up to view daily tweets. This year I am proud to say that I have over 75% participation! Since I have received a lot of positive feedback from both parents and students, Twitter will continue to be my definite go to resource for daily communication with families.
I also have a professional Twitter account that is completely separate from my classroom account. I use this account to follow edutweeters, teachers, principals and departments in my board and to stay current with the trends in education. It took me a while to sort through who I wanted to follow and to create a list of people to follow that was manageable. In fact, my Twitter use has closely followed the Seven Degrees of Connectedness that Rodd Lucier and Zoe Branigan-Pipe developed. I definitely started out as a Lurker and now depending on which professional relationship I am looking at I am in any of the stages from 4 – 7. The point is, Twitter has been excellent way for me to build a PLN and stay current. If you have been thinking about joining Twitter, my advice would be, stop thinking about and get tweeting!