Twitter for Teachers

This feels almost like a 12-step confessional: my name is Clare, I’m a teacher and I’m addicted to Twitter.

Well, addicted isn’t exactly true, but I do use Twitter increasingly to aid my professional development and practice. To non-tweeting colleagues that seems strange. They don’t ‘get’ Twitter and they don’t understand how or why I use it.

I’ve blogged before about my participation in the weekly twitter discussion #ukedchat (if you wish to read it again!) but today I’m thinking more generally about the myriad uses I find it has to help me on a daily basis.

Take today for example: I’m looking for inspiration to update the corridor displays in our new English block. At 11:41am I logged into my Twitter account and wrote:

“#engchat #ukedchat Our English dept is in desperate need of beautifying (just moved bldgs) Seeking corridor display ideas. All ideas welcome!”

For the rest of the day I’ve been receiving tweets from a variety of English teachers and other subject specialists with some great ideas for displays. The very generous @daveterron even went so far as to send me some quotations and display documents via DropBox. Fantastic support!

Where else but Twitter would I have received this wide-ranging and prompt support? If you teach but don’t tweet, you should!

This weekend I’ve contributed to a discussion with English subject colleagues about the new GCSE spec, I’ve commented on a great linoit for @tomhenzley’s Year 4 class, I’ve read some excellent articles which were sent via links on Twitter and I’ve shared some thoughts about why the careers service shouldn’t be cut with Andy Burnham, MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Education (@andyburnhammp on Twitter.)

Twitter connects me with other people who share my interests. It makes me reflect on my work. It makes me better at what I do.

If you still need convincing as to the value of Twitter, perhaps this article by Lucy Tobin (@lucytobin) will help:

To tweet or not to tweet? There really should be no question.

2 thoughts on “Twitter for Teachers

  1. Agreed, I find Twitter completely invaluable! We’re always being told that people are the most important resource we have and what Twitter does is give us access to people who are working in similar fields. I’m the only person in my role at our school and it could be very isolating, but through Twitter I’ve been able to build the most fantastically supportive PLN and have never felt that I’m alone in what I’m trying to do. Any time I’ve had a question, someone on there has been able to either give me the answer or guide me to where I can find it.

    My second feed, posting as the school library has also been a huge success. I have many of my students, particularly sixth formers, following the account and I’m able to give them information, respond to queries and engage with them in a much wider discussion. My one rule there is that I will not respond to direct messages; all communication must be public. The school where I work encourages us to only ever communicate with students via the official email system, but this is so closed, and I think more risky in terms of personal interactions than the public nature of Twitter.

  2. I love that you have a school library twitter feed; what a brilliant idea!

    And yes, the whole idea of a PLN wasn’t something I really understood before Twitter. I’ve ‘met’ some wonderful people who have really made an impact on my teaching.

    Good tip about the no-replying to DMs – great advice.

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