Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #165
I love it. In my opinion, it's the best thing to happen to me as an educator since I earned my MA.
But it's misunderstood and frightening.
Just this week I had a colleague ask if I follow current students on Twitter.
I said that I do. But I do it diligently. I follow several of my College Comp 1 and 2 students. And almost exclusively, I follow them after they have begun following me.
I figure if they're willing to do that, it means they are willing accept the "burden" of having me follow them.
Then he asked if that wasn't frowned upon in social media circles (I'm paraphrasing here, for I can't remember his exact words).
I said that students know I'll report anything stupid that they put on there. In fact, the only issue I ever had was via a retweet from a student I did not follow who said some very inappropriate things. So I took a screen capture of the offensive material and sent it to administration.
I then said honestly that I have not had a single issue with one of my students via Twitter.
Well, your students must be perfect, he concluded.
I said that yes I do have excellent students.
But they aren't perfect. And neither is their teacher. Just look at this typo in a Tweet from yesterday (which my colleague took a screen capture of and sent out).
Oh man! I meant "shoes" obviously but the typo is not good.
That has to be on a "Why Teachers Shouldn't Tweet" page somewhere. When I was alerted to this, I deleted it and put my original comment on there: "Those are some big SHOES to fill . . ."
That, though, is a great lesson for me. Check your tweets for spelling and typos!
But I still stand by Twitter.
First, I get so much professional development ideas from it. Where do you think all of these links come from?
Plus, I get the best encouragement and feedback and inspiration from it. Especially from former students. Just a couple days ago I was paid this compliment.
In the end, I'm all for this attitude toward Twitter, especially this: we still have far too many educators who don't fully understand Twitter and don't understand the value of being connected. They aren't seeing the benefits of collaborative learning and are pre-judging those who do by assuming we are just 'playing' around.