Twitter as a Teaching Tool

I understand the resistance of parents when it comes to Twitter. I know at the beginning of this class I was a bit resistant as well as I have stated in previous blog posts. I think that I have learned a lot in this course that has able be navigate ways that technology and social media can be used effectively within the classroom.

I worked with Janae and Keilyn on this group blog post. We decided to look at Twitter and have a conversation between a parent and two teachers on the use of Twitter in the classroom. The parent is concerned about the safety of their child and does not feel it is necessary to use social media within the classroom. Here is our conversation:

Parents: As a parent, I am concerned with online predators with the use of Twitter. I also have a concern with my child being able to access things unrelated to school.

Teacher #1: I understand your resistance to the use of technology within the classroom but learning has taken a turn in this direction. There are many technological tools that can be utilized to enhance student’s learning within in the classroom, including social media. I will admit I was quite resistant to it at first but once I saw the benefits of it, I was hooked. We teach Digital Citizenship within our classrooms to ensure all students are aware of the dangers and to promote Internet safety. Twitter allows students to connect with other students as well it is a way to show parents what they are learning. I have taken the precautions to ensure the safety of your child and our classroom. Linked here are some reasons that technology is beneficial in the classroom for a variety reasons.

Teacher #2: Technology is becoming more and more prevalent within schools and classrooms. Here are also a few Twitter channels that use Twitter effectively: @ClaireKreuger and @_msdobson. Please check these out. Thank you for your support in your child’s learning. If you have any questions feel free to let me know. I would love to discuss this further and put your mind at ease.

Parent: What sort of precautions are you taking so that my child’s identity is safe on twitter? Also what precautions are taken so my child is not exposed to anything inappropriate on the Internet?

Teacher #1: Thank you for your question, as I’m sure other parents share the same concerns. As your child’s teacher, the safety of my students is my first priority, both in and out of the classroom. If I felt that using Twitter in our classroom would jeopardize their safety in any way, it would never be utilized. However, we are now living in a time where the world around us is heavily integrated with technology. Although we can do our best to control what is being accessed, the best thing we can do for our kids is to teach them how to be safe online. Through the use of digital tools such as Twitter, I can supplement my lessons of practicing digital safety and help my students become empowered digital citizens.

Not only is Twitter is an amazing tool to interact and share ideas with other classrooms, but it is also a way for parents to stay connected and in the loop. I will do my best to keep our account updated so that you can see from home what we do throughout the day, in a way that still respects your child’s confidentiality. The use of Twitter is completely endorsed and encouraged by Regina Public School (@regpublicschool), as an initiative to promote local and global digital citizenship. Our account will be modelled after other Regina public school classroom accounts such as @mrkorpan and @tcam36, I encourage you to take a look at their pages and please let me know if you have any further concerns! 🙂

Teacher #2: Of course the safety of all of the children is important when it comes to this. I think that technology is becoming a part of our life in a variety of ways. I think it is important for students to learn Internet safety and Digital Citizenship. We are able to teach this in our classrooms and allow students to work with different technology in appropriate ways. The Twitter account will be checked regularly to ensure the content is student-friendly.

I think that Twitter is an excellent tool to create a Professional Learning Network. I think it is also important for students to use it as a Learning Network as well. I love the idea of teaching students on how to use technology in positive, effective ways before they actually are using it on their own terms. Learned habits that are positive will definitely help them become better Digital Citizens.


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