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Twitter – What’s the big deal?

Twitter is unblocked in Bolton LA and even before it was unblocked I unblocked it at my school as I have been given filtering access/control by the LA.

Twitter is regarded by many educators as the best CPD available and it is free. I follow 300 people (exclusively people linked to teaching and ICT) and I am followed by around 550 people. This access to my instant Personal Learning Network (PLN) gives me opportunities to share ideas, gain ideas and discuss issues that face Teachers/Leaders around the country and the world. I have led training for the LA and included my experience of Twitter which has led to more teachers in Bolton using Twitter as a professional tool.

As for the impact on the pupils, I use my own account solely as a professional tool. I do not follow any celebs (not that this matters!) but I use my account to tweet updates about My own personal blog and the Year 6 blog that I am in charge of. My Year 6 class have their own Twitter account: @Year6Class and I also tweet their updates about their blog. I will allow them to tweet soon but I am the only one who knows the password which make it as secure as I make it!
One example of how Twitter was used is from today! My Year 6 blogged about the features of a letter:

Blog post here!

And I tweeted the address out to my PLN. Within 5 minutes we had 7 comments saying how great it was. Two of the comments asked the children to clarify some of their features which allowed the children to reply a comment which expanded their point. All this was done through moderation by myself (TOTALLY SAFE!)

We also have a school twitter account:

@heathfieldcps

that we tweet updates to parents. We have about 50 followers (not all parents – some LA advisors interested to see what we are doing!) We also plan to tweet football updates live during our next few matches for those parents that can’t attend!

The possibilities are endless and it is as safe as the person in charge makes it! The most secure setting makes your tweets protected which means that NOBODY sees the tweets unless you have agreed to let them. We started like that but we opened our accounts up so we had a wider audience. None of the children can tweet from our accounts as they do not know the log on details!

If you fancy having a go a Twitter, Ian Addison (@ianaddison) has produced a really simple and easy to follow guide for you to get set up. It even lists some useful contacts to follow! See his post here.

Why not give it a go? You have 10 minutes to lose but so much to gain! It is by far the best professional decision I have made to date!

If you use Twitter or know of other blog posts about it please leave a comment with a link!

April 13, 2010

7 Comments

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  1. Lynda Dixon
    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Like many others, I started using twitter for fun. Then it became apparent to me that it is an amazingly powerful networking and training tool. I ‘unfollowed’ my friends and family and told them I’d chat on Facebook with them but that twitter was going to be for work only. Since then, I have logged the CPD that twitter has provided for me, free of charge, in the comfort of my own home, at a time to suit me. The list is now enormous! I have never been so excited to be working in education as I am now. It is not just for the young either….I’ve become a real IT geek at 55 and am constantly ‘twittering on’ about twitter!

  2. Diana Wyatt
    April 14, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for this post, David. It’s certainly been my experience that Twitter has been the best tool for keeping up to date with ICT in education. I was also interested in how you have used Twitter in school and handled the safety aspect. As Lynda mentioned in her comment, I initially thought Twitter was just for fun and couldn’t see the point of it. But now I’m hardly off it and go on about it to anyone who will listen.

  3. Chris Leach
    April 14, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    I have used Twitter very successfully with Yr 6 children who tweeted as Robert Catesby, the leader of the Gunpowder Plot, describing the events following the capture of Guy Fawkes. We used Hootsuite in order to schedule the tweets to arrive at specific times as many of the events occured overnight or at the weekend. Ther children loved researching the events and the feedback they received about the project was amazing. I’m hoping to run this project again in November and wwould love other schools to get involved so we could have different characters from the story tweeting.

  4. D Spencer
    April 14, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Best CPD access route I’ve ever experienced. Great group of fellow professionals who want not just to be “good” teachers but who want to be , and often are, “outstanding” teachers.

  5. Nikki
    April 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I love Twitter! I wish all authorities would unblock it. Ours seems to block everything!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Twitter – What’s the big deal? « Mr. Mitchell's Blog – asksir.co.uk -- Topsy.com - April 13, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ian addison, James Michie and David Mitchell, David Mitchell. David Mitchell said: @ceegee72 Not got your email? Maybe this will help? http://bit.ly/cmtXMh […]

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