I had the pleasure this week of talking to PGDE students about Flipping the Classroom/Ed Tech and general teacher geekery. They were eager for information, guidance, a place to start…my answer…Twitter!
Gasps ensue..Social Media? The black hole of depravity? The graveyard for teacher’s careers who posted one too many pics of their lunch? In a word…no. To be fair, you are probably reading this after following a link on Twitter (thanks by the way!) so you are, perhaps, well aware of the fantastic and fertile land of ideas, sharing and collaboration…some might even say revolution that Twitter is the catalyst for in education. Watch this video if you have 14 minutes, more on it later.
I dislike posts entitled “10 steps to decluttering your home”, “5 steps to losing 6 pounds in 7 days!”etc. My dislike is borne out of the fact that a few of these steps are usually quite good, and the rest are there to make up the numbers – so I’m going to start giving a few good tips and see where we go…
1. Become a Tweeacher – make a professional account, try not to use your personal one where you retweet the ridiculous video of the dancing cats…or worse. Treat this account as one you wouldn’t mind sharing with your boss, or their boss for that matter.
2. Who to follow? Search #edchat or #flipclass for starters and follow quite liberally initially, some will follow you back, but this depends a little on your contributions, which leads me on to…
3. To Tweet or not to Tweet? Just ‘lurk’ in the virtual shadows and absorb the collective wisdom of the Twittersphere if you wish, retweet things you like and contribute to the conversation, not every Tweet need be a perfectly composed nugget of literary genius.
The reason why I think Twitter has become so important in education is the potential for like-minded individuals to connect, organise and foster progress from within the education system. Events like TeachMeet, Pedagoo and others in the UK are organised through Twitter, collectively drawing on the passions and expertise of people who are engaged in education and moving the system on in a revolutionary way, this is no CPD course folks, and because of this community CPD will never really be the same again.
So go on, take the leap, become a Tweeacher, and get the leg warmers off the cat!