Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twitter? Social Media in the Classroom? Are you Crazy?

Social media in the classroom has been unfairly criticized by the fundamentalists as something that is distracting and adds to the already difficult management of a classroom. I equate it with not taking your dog out for a walk because it's more work for you, regardless of the potential benefits.

Two quick examples of how Twitter can not only function in a school setting, but thrive, are explained in the presentation by Samantha Morra below.

Firstly, the ability to rapidly disseminate information. The reality is more students are carrying cell phones and the trend seems to be cell phones becoming the main web connecting tool. Instantly, information such as meetings, dates, reminders, or emergencies can be sent and digested in a fraction of the time it took previously. Teachers can post a topic and instantly have a class brainstorming session OUTSIDE of the classroom, with students contributing from ANYWHERE in the world.

Secondly, the efficiency of collaboration with colleagues and other professionals. Professional Learning Communities are present in many schools and the ability to use a social networking tool like Twitter to collaborate anytime, anywhere makes for a continuing collaboration; as opposed to meeting within a confined space and time. Wouldn't you like to instantly get feedback on a problem you are experiencing, reflect on a great lesson, showcase a student's talent, or just see how a person's day went. Together we are better.

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