KSA #15 Professional Learning · KSA #16 Vision of Teaching

Twitter: A Social Media Platform that Promotes Collaboration & Learning by Teachers & Students

I reluctantly joined Twitter March 10, 2012. My purpose in joining twitter was to follow friends and family that are in the social media business, to increase their followers. As time progressed, I would tweet every so often realizing there was enjoyment in staying current with events and my friend’s posts, while keeping them up-to-date with the latest and greatest in my life.

Now, let’s fast forward to September 2012. I walked into class on the first day of my Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Lethbridge,  and was greeted by a technology guru. My professor informed the class that we would need to sign up for Twitter as we would be using it in class as an educational tool. At that point, I realized I would be tweeting a whole lot more than I had been in the past and about school. I was glad there would be no learning curve, but this wasn’t something I was overly excited about … yet.

What I didn’t see coming, was the pure enjoyment and excitement I would find in reading other professionals posts, developing my Personal Learning Network (PLN) and composing my own relevant educational tweets. I couldn’t believe the vast number of resources that are available on Twitter; it is absolutely wonderful! In the past six weeks I have enjoyed and learned a lot through this simple social media platform and made connections with some extremely interesting professionals. The importance of collaboration is one of the key lessons I have taken away thus far from my Education degree; there are few ways easier to collaborate with professionals worldwide, than through Twitter.

Here’s the kicker, that’s not all! Twitter has applications in the classroom too! I recently stumbled upon a monthly discussion board between high school students and experts in the field of science research (#scistuchat). The second Thursday of every month, at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time (US), students and professionals meet via Twitter to discuss a topic predetermined by the students. I can only imagine how many more students would have been excited about science, when I was in high school, if only they had been able to connect their learning to the real world. This is something huge for our students, the authenticity of their education. Our student’s want to, they need to, know that there is more to the content we are teaching than assignments and grades. Personally, I can’t wait to get into a classroom and make use of Twitter and other technology tools to enhance students learning and promote excitement about the material!

Before you resist becoming a “twit”, think about the way that you can expand your PLN, make you a better educator, and promote learning in your classroom in a new, innovative and exciting way.

Until next time,
Mr. B

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