Given the popularity of our previous Twitter lists, the social media platform is clearly a great way for educators to connect. Be it between Slough and Glasgow, or Anaheim and Manila, Twitter lets teachers talk about work, life and everything in real-time. Resources, tips and support are constantly up for grabs, so following the right people is imperative. Here are 30 people we’d recommend adding to your list.
At the heart of any outstanding school is a commitment to the wellbeing and success of all of its pupils. All members in the school community have an impact on children’s attainment either directly or indirectly, so ensuring a core focus on learners and learning is essential to creating an optimised learning environment.
It’s very difficult to put into words how incredibly important Twitter has been in our practice this year in Primary 1. It was a very new approach for me at the start of the academic year, and I was gently persuaded by my colleague to climb on board the ‘Twitter Train’. Little did I know the impact it would have, not only on the pupils, parents and school, but also on my life! I try to use my camera every day to capture moments of pure educational magic and then spend half my night uploading them with creative hashtags. In fact, I’ve been told by some family members it might become an obsession… and it has! However, it has to be said that this Twitter addiction has had a positive effect on my teaching practice and has allowed me to access areas of communication and learning I hadn’t reached before.
One of the most important parts of my job has to do with finding new ways to connect our parent community to the school. In some areas where I have worked this has not been a big problem. I have experienced schools with strong parent councils, and parents groups who have the time to put a great deal of time and resources into the school.
What’s better than the Amazon Prime Sale and Black Friday? Twitter! When I first joined Twitter I didn’t realise its full potential. I followed a few sporting heroes and a couple of celebs but did not realise the use it had, especially as educators. It wasn’t until I offered to edit the Numeracy Shed for Rob Smith that I started to follow other educators and take part in educational chats. As my following and followers rose, the benefits and potential for learning using Twitter grew. In fact I’d say it has been one of the single most influential things in my teaching in the last 18 months, and continues to give me fantastic ideas and resources. It has opened up avenues for me that otherwise would not have been possible.
Visible learning is not just about John Hattie. This is not to take away from Professor Hattie’s research, merely to say that creating visibility around student learning can redefine a learner’s understanding of the world. When in classes facilitating, I often open with the question “Do you know how many people in the world have access to the internet?” to which there are a myriad of guesses from the students. Very few get anywhere near the 3.1 billion internet users suggested by websites such as Internetlivestats.
Whether or not you subscribe to the digital native ideology or believe it’s a fallacy, on the whole our students today are more au fait with social media than ever before. Schools have become adept at limiting student access to social media and at managing their own accounts, but it’s often seen as an additional PR tool rather than a legitimate learning activity. Whilst I don’t believe that unrestricted access to Facebook in lessons is necessarily a valid form of pedagogy, I do think the concept of social media is a useful way to break down topics and help to engage students.