Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tweet tweet!

Follow me at @markeetarp
Or my class at @the67vrps

Do you tweet? I, personally, tweet and so does my class . I can't say I'm the world's most proficient user of twitter, and my class are still REALLY new to it BUT...

And this is a really big BUT...

It's fantastic! Get on it!!!

    Just a sampling of reasons. (I'm sure there are a myriad that I'm not mentioning.)

    • I've connected with a whole range of amazing educators I wouldn't otherwise 'know' or be able to learn from/with.  I am building my own PLN.
    • Hashtags rock. No. Seriously. I could go on for quite some time about them but here are two great examples: 

      • #hackhameastps: This is my school's hashtag. Primarily used by staff (and classes) this hashtag serves as a filter for things that we want each other to see. It might be our literacy coach @MelissaThiele1 passing on a great resource, or one of the other 6/7 classes (@MsLipczyksclass) sharing their latest media studies learning.
      • #mathphotoaday: Every day for the month of June, my class will be tweeting a photo of a particular Maths concept.  We've used a google doc to arrange who will do what, and when. So far, admittedly it's only June 4th, it's been great. Our very first photo (about division) was 'favourited' very quickly by a Grade 3/4 class in Canberra. As you can see from the photo above, the very next day the same class tweeted back with the fact family for this particular division fact.  Amazing huh?
    • There are literally hundreds of twitterchats each week. Free, fun, fast, friendly professional development on a topic of my choice? Um, yes please. I've been tuning to one in particular: #teacherwellbeingchat (Sunday at 8:30pm Adelaide time which is GMT +13.5) A teacher here in Adelaide facilitates a chat each week about a range of topics that all relate to teacher wellbeing. It's a great chance to check inand start the work week all zen. :) It meanders from sensible to silly and everywhere between. There are an absolute plethora of chats to try... I have a long list.  This blogpost talks about the importance of twitterchats. 
    • Global connections - you know the kind that we all talk about being so important for the kids in this day and age? -  are very easy to make over Twitter. My class has now interacted with a handful of classes around the world; some close to home and others across the globe.  The content has been somewhat superficial to start with, but it's a start and the kids are excited.  Next we're planning to use twitter to get involved in a mystery skype session (ten minutes of asking another class questions to work out where they are located).

    Lakewood is in Canada.
    Woodend is just down the road.
    (Mr Lamshed used to teach at our school.)

    My last reason for loving twitter is that the last two days I've been able to follow the general gist of  Edutech 2014 without being there. Gotta love a hashtag that makes it possible to follow the back channel of a conference! 

    Amusing sidenote: a few weeks ago I had a rather heated discussion with my principal (@bobthiele13) because he's uber keen for our whole staff to get on Twitter and use #hackhameastps as a way of supporting ongoing professional development etc. while I was trying to make the point that not everyone likes or feels safe in the very open environment of Twitter so we can't force them to do it. Well. Haven't I shot myself in the foot of that particular argument? Since that discussion I've jumped up and down with excitement over things my class is doing on Twitter (yes, physically jumped) IN FRONT OF HIM. And now I've blogged about my Twitter-love. Oh dear. There goes my credibility with that point. Maybe he won't read this... 

    This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
    Standard 1 Know students and how they learn.
    Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning.
    Standard 4 Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments.
    Standard 6 Engage in professional learning.
    Standard 7 Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community.