Jeff Thomas Technology

Tech for Educators

Educators and the Great Twitter Controversy?

Posted by Jeffrey Thomas on January 17, 2010

This post is part of a series tagged Education News and Controversy
news and controversy

Professionals in the field of education are using Twitter more than ever to share ideas and promote their businesses. My online publishing work has benefitted from two social media networks in particular. Using Twitter and Facebook to announce my writing has brought more readers and in turn, wider exposure and more relevant leads for my advertisers.

People in some corners have mixed attitudes about social media. Obviously I am a proponent for the profit it brings my online publishing. At the same time, I am old fashioned in some ways and I understand their position. In a nutshell, they seem to feel Twitter and Facebook are places where educators “play” and “get too personal.” Because we are public servants, or for some other unknown reason, they feel educators have no business using these services. I think they are correct that should we set a higher standard of we publish online but they are not correct that educators can do no good on social media.

I have also made many contacts with educators and their ideas. I imagine a world where restaurant managers communicate on how to eliminate watse-age on their bottom line. I see waiters finding a place to vent and become better at what they do. I see people who ffrequent Vegas finding tips and deals from people on their Twitter list.

Why should we as educators fear connecting on Twitter? It has such great potential to help us teach better.

Connecting on Twitter has all served to make me a more effective and accomplished teacher. You may be asking yourself: “By who’s evaluation are you better?” Well, first by my own but also by standardized test score results and continued recognition through the contractual terms of my job as a teacher. Then, there are the comments I have recieved that show me my work is having a positive impoact on classroom across the country. This is because of Twitter along with my blog and at times Facebook.

To those out there who have taken their Twitter down because of these fears or hesitated to start an account, I give you this advice:

In my opinion, there is likely nothing inherently dangerous to your job about a Twitter account if you are positive and you consider the people who are reading your tweets when you do so.

Having said that, some teachers who feel the need to post their drunk pictures in Mexico on a wild weekend (for example), I am not defending that sort of stupidity and irresponsibility. What’s your take on educators and the Twitter controversy?

As a footnote, Karen Schweitzer, a guest blogger here, has featured a list of 15 Teachers worth following on Twitter. Please feel free to add them and see what value they add to your profession and passion. I’m finding more from various sources every month or so. If you would like to be featured, leave a comment, send me an email: damien [at] rileycentral [dot] net, or send me a message on Twitter [at] rileycentral and I will check out your tweets.

Related posts:

  1. 15 Teachers to Follow on Twitter
  2. Using Twitter, Google, and Blogs to Plan Better Lessons
  3. Online Translation Service for Educators
  4. 10 Useful Twitter Apps for Bloggers, Working Professionals and Students
  5. 20 Great Literacy Sites and Blogs

Great article about teachers/educators using twitter/facebook. I think it is essential for teachers to become experts of these tools in order to incorporate them into the classroom of today.

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