I am not on Twitter. Well, I have an account that I set up to see what it’s all about. I did this about 5 years ago and haven’t gone back to Twitter since. Until there have been headline after headline about President Trump tweeting this and tweeting that. Then, I went back to Twitter, relearned my password, and got on again. I’m still not hooked.
I’ve heard about its use in the classroom but haven’t tried it here because there are tight firewalls. Websites like Facebook and other social media are not accessible by teachers and students.
I like the article Twitter is Stupid at http://www.foglyte.com/2012/09/twitter-is-stupid-until-you-realize/. This article really helped me because to be honest, I thought Twitter was stupid. The analogy provided by Jonathan Barrick, comparing all of Twitter to all of T.V. helped me to realize that I need to control my Twitter account. I’m just not sure how to control the account in a way that is safe and appropriate for elementary school students.
I found this article: Ten Guidelines for Using Twitter with Elementary Students by Sharon Davidson. In it, she maps out ten useful guidelines including “1. Follow people who are sharing professional work and experiences that enhance and interact with student learning.” She also writes that teachers should get permission from parents before allowing students have pictures or work posted on Twitter. Getting parental permission always seems scary to me. Not the actual process of asking permission, but remembering who is not allowed to be posted and then exercising caution while taking pictures or documenting classroom learning. It’s a small hoop when working with Twitter.
Also, Sharon Davidson suggests using Twitter in a way that models good digital citizenship. I can see effectively introducing a classroom Twitter account in the beginning of the school year and using it to demonstrate proper spelling, protecting private information, and asking meaningful questions.
In Ten Golden Rules to Take Your Library’s Twitter Account to the Next Level, by Ned Potter, Potter discusses the use of Twitter for multimedia and pictures. Twitter makes it really easy to post a Tweet with a video link that plays right in the Tweet. I appreciate the value of this feature. It makes it easier to share multimedia instantaneously.
I like the idea of being connected with parents on social media and creating that link from school to home. The biggest hurdles for me are parental permission and district permission.
I think my next step is to try Tweeting from my personal account so that I understand Twitter better. Only then can I pursue the use of the platform in my library. After reading these articles, I see that there is a great value to using a Twitter account for connecting with the world beyond our little town community. It also is a simple tool for sharing what happens here in the library. I hope to move forward with Twitter on my own over the next few months so that next school year I can pursue it in the classroom.