Badge icon "Egg (5574)" provided by Sergi Delgado, from The Noun Project under Creative Commons - Attribution (CC BY 3.0)Hi everyone,

It’s that time of year again.  The “Connected Educator” week (Thanks @courosa for that handy title) of our Numeracy and ICT topic  @Flinders has come around.  We have nearly 200 student teachers, some of whom are already using twitter, ready to connect with their new PLN (Personal / Professional Learning Network). My bunch will be getting started / learning new skills on Thursday morning 8am -10am Adelaide Time.

If you’re free for any of these sessions then that would be wonderful.  The twitter ID of their tutor is next to their workshop time. We will be using the hashtag #educ3625

Monday 1:00 – 3:00 pm (@tsweeney8)

Tuesday 8:00 – 9:50am (@JAKnipe)

Thursday 8:00 – 9:50am(@teachertechnol) -me!and 1:00 – 3:00pm (@tsweeney8)

Friday 8:00 – 9:50am (@MichaelLCowling), 10:00 – 11:50 (@ashleyjblight), 12:00 – 2:00pm  (@ashleyjblight) and 2:00 – 4:00pm (@kstephburton)

Interestingly, this year, there seems to have been a little resistance to using Twitter.

There are concerns about those who use Twitter negatively and about associating yourself with it.

There was a reading we used in the first year that came from an English in Australia journal called “More than chatting online : children, marketing, and the use of digital media”.  It talked about a project in which a local education authority had created a ‘safe’, unique social network for their students – free from perceived threats –  so that it would be completely “safe”.   There are many points made in this article about such an action.  The main things that stuck in my mind was the lack of teaching about digital citizenship and online safety that went on.  When the kids went ahead and used the more usual social media tools they had  never been taught how to do so safely.   They were also in a position where they were being told it was “bad” or “dangerous” to use these tools – which probably made them all the more tempting.  Of course, if they got into trouble, they were unlikely to ask their teachers for help if they figured it would get them into even more deep water.

Obviously, I don’t agree that Twitter is a purely dangerous place to be avoided at all costs.  However, there will always be trolls online and of course, with such great power to communicate comes a great deal of responsibility to do so ethically and responsibly.  That is true of EVERY communication tool we use in our classrooms. There’s a real chance that the people who choose to use it in a negative way have never been educated about how to use it properly or indeed, the impact that their behaviour is having on others and themselves.  Ergo… we, as teachers, need to teach the next generation about using social media responsibly so that we can have a positive impact on these “trolls” .  It’s not just about building a digital footprint for ourselves, it’s about having the skills to help our students make decisions about how best to develop and manage their own.

What advice would you add to that ?

What about these points?

  • Why should I have another social network tool when i’m already established on something like Facebook?
  • Should I really be sharing my real name and profile picture?

#educ3625  are waiting eagerly to connect with you and to hear your opinions on the above questions.  Please feel free to share your comments below because they will be invaluable to us in the coming weeks 🙂

As an aside, if anyone reading this would like help getting set up with Twitter then please feel free to use this free course 🙂

14 Comments
  1. Jessica Ottewell 5 years ago

    Twitter: @jessottewell

    Hi #educ3625

    I have written my own blog post to go along with Selena’s.
    I was in your position 2 years ago. I am now in my first year of teaching.
    Check it out here and I hope it is useful for you.

    http://jessottewell.edublogs.org/2014/10/26/why-twitter/

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      Thanks Jess! Great post 🙂 I’ve left you a comment in return 🙂 It sounds like you’re doing wonderful things with your students and really helping them to develop into wise, social and ethical kids 🙂 Hope to see you online during our (or other sessions). You’re experiences and insight is invaluable 🙂
      Selena

  2. Andrew Woodman 5 years ago

    To be honest, I feel sorry for teachers who haven’t had the chance to realise yet, the power of Twitter for Educators. It opens up a world of learning far more dimensional than anything else I experienced in my teaching degree. It is something very special indeed (if you embrace it in a savvy, dynamic, ‘socially aware’ way. Twitter is at the forefront of 21C ‘world networking’ and teachers do it better than most.

  3. Andrew Woodman 5 years ago

    And that’s not to say I didn’t value my teaching degree, it was invaluable! It’s just that, as a teacher with 10 years+ experience, Twitter is superb. Pre-service teachers who learn how to embrace it from the start have an ‘unfair’ advantage over their classmates, indeed experienced teachers too 🙂

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      Thanks Andrew. I think you’re absolutely right. If you could have the advice of experienced, practising teachers from all over the world at your finger tips 24 /7 why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that wealth of knowledge? I also think that it’s important for a teacher to show that they are a learner. The best learners make the best teachers. What better way than to engage in the learning happening on Twitter?

  4. Simon McKenzie 5 years ago

    I firmly believe that Twitter has helped to transform my career. After more than 30 years in education, it has been my saviour. Twitter offers real collaboration on an international level. It has helped me to become a recognised conference presenter, a university tutor working with Preservice teachers and an author for educational publications.
    Recently, I credited Twitter with finding me a new job for 2015 … My most recent blog post explains how.
    Go to theconnectedteacher.edublogs.org

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      It’s amazing what the power of a connection can achieve 🙂

  5. Author
    Selena 5 years ago

    This is a fantastic article that I just came across! http://issuu.com/ukedchat/docs/uked_magazine_oct_2014/11

  6. Leila Kasprzak 5 years ago

    Hi everyone, I work with early career teachers in DECD.
    Teaching is a complex profession, you are not expected to know it all at once!
    The most successful early career teachers I see are those who network widely to support their professional development. Using social media provides opportunities to learn from a varied group of professionals, all with their own specialities and expertise…. A whole group of virtual mentors!
    Like all social media sites, Twitter is what you make it. Find relevant people to follow (schools, principals and teachers), chose your own posts wisely (it is a public domain!) and market yourself strategically.
    I run @DECD_ECT and earlier this year saw that one of my new followers who was a TRT had her ePortfolio address in her profile information. I clicked on it and was really impressed by the site. Since then that ECT has become a regular mentor at the DECD ePortfolio workshops, has great evidence for her ePortfolio about collaborating and supporting colleagues (and has landed a contract).
    Creating a virtual network is a great way to keep current and to strategically market yourself in a very competitive job market.

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      Thanks for commenting Leila. It’s great (and probably reassuring for our student teachers) to hear that DECD encourage the use of social media as a tool for professional development, mentoring and learning. I am sure they’ll be keen to follow @DECD_ECT and make as many connections as they can! 🙂

  7. Markeeta Roe-Phillips 5 years ago

    Hi #educ3625
    As an early career teacher myself I LOVE using twitter for the diversity of views, ideas and experience it affords me. I now tweet with my class which has given us a whole range of experiences we wouldn’t otherwise have had. Take the jump, it’s worth it!

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      Fantastic! What’s your classes twitter handle? Maybe we can say hi 🙂 What’s yours? We should follow you 🙂

  8. Shaileigh Page 5 years ago

    Hi Everyone!
    I cannot recommend Twitter enough! I used to be a tutor in your topic and there is always mixed feeling about being involved! Using Twitter professionally opens up so many doors of opportunity!! I connected with a teacher in Nebraska in 2012 and am still in touch with him today! I currently teach grade 7 in Whyalla and we skype him and his colleagues to find out more about the America culture and it’s also an awesome platform to share learning! We also have a buddy class system with a school in Nebraska all through twitter. My class has their own twitter account (see @misspagesclass) where we share learning in real time with other classes and teachers. Twitter is amazing PD and you can even count some of your time using this towards your mandatory 60 hours of PD!! Get on it and don’t hesitate! It was the best decision to join Twitter… if you have any hesitations please contact me! Give it a go…. if you don’t like it just delete the account but if you love it like we all do then it was totally worth it!!!!

    • Author
      Selena 5 years ago

      Hey Shaileigh! Thanks for your comment. I hope you got some new followers this morning 🙂

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