Tag Archives: social media

Twitter for Digital Citizenship

On Friday I read this article, published in the local Leader Newspaper. The article was based on a complaint made by an older sibling of a student at Roxburgh Homestead PS about Twitter being used in a year two classroom…which to any reader probably sounds like an irresponsible thing for a school to allow. These views were backed up by “cybersaftey expert”, Susan McLean. Continue reading

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’.

Teaching the Social Media Generation

Yesterday I attended ICT in Education Victoria‘s annual state conference and was lucky enough to present about the ways I am exploring social media in my classroom.

I have written a couple of posts about embracing social media with students-

Twitter in my Classroom

A Chance Tweet 

One of my students has also written a post about his experiences-

Tweeting the Prime Minister

My session overview stated- 

The majority of students we teach use social media, they have Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter accounts. It is no longer ok for teachers to ignore the fact that their students are using these tools and that social media is becoming a fundamental source for students to research, gather information, learn, play and communicate. It is time that we as educators start embracing this use of technology in the classroom. This session will specifically explore using Twitter as a fundamental educational tool in the classroom.

It was great to see a booked out session and some familiar Twitter faces in the crowd.

Click the following link to view my presentation slides- Teaching the social media generation – ICTEV 2013 Presentation

How do you use Twitter with your students? 

Twitter In My Classroom


In November 2011 I blogged about how I used Twitter in a mathematics lesson on chance and probability with a group of year two students. Since then, just over a year ago, Twitter has become an integral part of my classroom program. So much so that last week I was contacted by Jewel Topsfield, the education editor at The Age Newspaper who wrote an article about how Twitter is being used in the education field – T is for Teaching. After receiving so much attention from the article, I realised that using Twitter with my year five and six students had become such a normal part of the daily activities in my classroom that I had forgotten that what my students and I are doing is still something that many educational professionals perceive as ‘taboo’, that there are still so many people out there that believe social media plays no part in the education of these ‘digital native’ students we teach everyday.

Photo: Jason South


The fact is that many students in my class already use social media, they have Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter accounts and although I can not condone their use of those tools as they are under 13 years of age, I can expose them to positive ways of using such tools in the classroom. Through using my class Twitter account @ACPS456 and sites such as Edmodo I am exposing my students to a POSITIVE way of behaving and communicating in an online world- something that they are already beginning to do. I am teaching my students how to identify and block spam accounts, the importance of only friending people they know on Facebook, the notion of leaving a ‘digital footprint’ and how to be safe online!

It is no longer ok for teachers to ignore the fact that their students are using these tools and that social media is becoming a fundamental source for them to research, gather information, learn, play and communicate. Shouldn’t we as educators be embracing this use of technology in the classroom rather than ignoring it? Teachers, principals and parents desperately need to get over their beliefs that Twitter is a place for sharing unimportant information and updates or following celebrities. No, I do not care what you ate for lunch today or what grocery store you shop at, but I DO care and WILL take notice if I see an 11 year old tweet the Prime Minister or read about young people sharing their learning and knowledge with the world. It is time for educators and parents to understand that Twitter and other social media in the classroom can be a valuable place and a world stage for student learning. Teachers need to stop being afraid and simply have a go at using the tools, if not for their class then for themselves. Twitter is the best FREE source of professional learning I have ever come across. I hear so many excuses and complaints about being so swamped that “I don’t have the time”, excuses like these are simply just that, don’t tell me you don’t have time and then expect me to sit down with you for half an hour to explain something when you could have got the answer off other teachers on Twitter almost instantly. There are SO many educators out there, many experts in their fields, willing to share their knowledge in 140 characters or less- it’s time to get involved!

Ways to use Twitter with students:

  • Sharing class updates
  • Sharing blog posts
  • Tweeting reflections on learning activities
  • Sharing what they have learnt
  • Asking questions
  • Gathering information and data
  • Create global connections with other classes and teachers

Some classes already Tweeting:

Some worthwhile teachers to follow (Just a few, too many to include all). Join the conversation! Check out Edudemics 60 best teachers on Twitter.

Don’t forget the hash tags:

  • Victorian Professional Learning Network- #VicPLN
  • #comments4kids
  • #edchat
  • #edtech
  • #education
  • #CBLearn

So many more here- The Unofficial Index to Educational Twitter Hashtags