I love Twitter! It is one of the most amazing source of information for 21st Century educators. Twitter is a social media tool where users can send short messages (up to 140 characters) into the Twittersphere for others to read. Tweets are usually hashtagged (eg. #education #ICT ) to allow people to search for topics. You can follow people and see their tweets and they can follow you. I follow many different people and hashtags. Edudemic, Cybrary Man and OzTweechersPLN provide a quick guide to educational hashtags for teachers. While the Index to Educational Twitter Hashtags is another great place to start out.
TWEETING IN SCHOOLS
There are many reasons why we should tweet within schools but there are also concerns that are raised by some who believe that social media is not suitable for children. In my opinion social media can be successful in schools as long as it is used properly, like all teaching strategies used in schools. I’m sure we have all seen teaching strategies and methods that make us cringe because they are not being used properly of safely. Social media is the same. Use it within the guidelines set out by your school and it can be a phenomenal tool.
The following are some articles which highlight some of the positive and negative reasons for the use of social media in the classroom:
Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom
Social Media in the K-12 Classroom
Twitter in My Classroom
Social Media Belongs in the Classroom
WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER??
Like all social media you can choose your privacy settings… You can protect your tweets so that only your followers can see what you have written, this may be one way of protecting classroom privacy. If you are tweeting as a classroom then all tweets should be approved by the teacher before adding to Twitter. Or use a safer option like Twiducate this site has greater security options available and is specifically for schools and classrooms.
This morning I was lucky enough to be part of a conference session with Howard Gardner… yes the Multiple Intelligences guy. The Global Education Conference has been a wonderful experience for me. I’m looking forward to catching some of the recordings when I have some spare time. This morning’s session was present by Howard and his son Andrew. Andrew asked Howard a number of questions leading the participants through Howard’s work over the last 20 -30 years. I found it interesting that though most schools are still focused on Multiple Intelligences and using that as a way of developing thinking Gardner has moved on to much deeper thought. His work on ethics in recent years was certainly very interesting for me particularly in relation to ethics in the 21st Century. In an educational context, from which I am approaching his work, I found that there are some important issues which need to be addressed.
During the discussion Gardner raised the idea of copyright. Gardner mentioned that though people and students can identify that breeching copyright is wrong they often justify this by citing why it’s not so bad to copy other people’s work. I totally related to this. I have taught primary classes and identified discussed and thought I had made clear the ethical issues related to copyright only to find most students ignored our learning.
I’m now going to find Gardner’s two most recent books and read them. I’m hoping from these publications I can get a few more ideas about how I can get real learning and understanding happening on ethical issues related to ICT and 21st Century technologies. I think ethics in education are an important often forgotten aspect. Some useful links are listed below
Visual Thinking Strategies
Gardner’s The Good Work
Gardner’s Good Play