Are You Tweeting in Class Yet?

 

It seems like such a long time ago that I blogged about my first experience of using Twitter as an educational tool in the classroom. My first post on the topic- A Chance Tweet was published on the 11th November 2011. With what seems like a life time ago, the ways I have used and continue to make the most of Twitter in the classroom has grown and taken on a life of its own. Last year my class account- @acps456 received a fair bit of media attention as they were Tweeted by the Prime Minister at the time, Julia Gillard and former Education Minister, Peter Garrett. An article published in The Age Newspaper- T is for Teaching by Jewel Topsfield discussed how myself and some other Australian teachers were embracing Twitter in education. Since blogging about this experience I have been asked to speak about my experiences with using Twitter in the classroom quite regularly. In May this year I was lucky enough to present ‘Teaching the Social Media Generation‘ at ICTEVs State Conference, IT Takes A Villiage and last night I presented a follow up webinar on the topic.

Here is the recording of my webinar for ICTEV-

 

I feel very strongly about the fact that teachers need to embrace social media rather than shy away from it. When used responsibly and effectively, social media in an educational setting can be a powerful and resourceful tool.

In a study published by the QLD University of Technology, Australian children were found to be under 8 years old when they began using the internet, which made them among some of the youngest users in the 26 countries in the study. This study also reported that 76% of children and teenagers go online daily, with the average time nearing on one and a half hours per day. The results of this study clearly show that we need to change the way we teach, the world has changed, children have changed and we need to keep up! Professor Green from the QLD study also stated that:

“A minority of children are upset by online risks, many benefit from the advice and tools available to them. The risks and opportunities of the online world go hand in hand for children and it is important to avoid being overly restrictive.”

I feel that by denying a place for social media in the classroom we are being overly restrictive. How else will our students learn how to use these tools appropriately and responsibly if we do not show them best practice? One of my favourite quotes about education is ‘If we teach today’s children as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow’, and we will and many still do everyday. It is time to change our thinking and connect our students with the world in ways that were not previously possible.

Erik Qualman, author of www.socialnomics.net has said- “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” 

The following excerpt is from a blog post written by an 11 year old student last year-

 

Why not start now and give your students the opportunity to share, learn, connect and be inspired by the world! Allow your students the opportunity to show the world that ‘little people can do big things’.

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