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 🙂