Tackling twitter

Knowledge and skills

  • learn about allegories
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Wider reading
  • Composition

Does the thought of Twitter, Pinterest, Pixer, Tumblr and Facebook make you shudder? Here teacher, Ben Waldram, gives you some quick wins and great reasons to use Twitter.

Why should I bother with Twitter? This is a question I’ve heard many times, in my own staffroom too. The question is often followed by I just don’t get it, I don’t have time or My phone is not good enough! So, here are some simple reasons why you absolutely should bother with Twitter.

  1. IT’S SUPPORTIVE. You know when you go into your staffroom or visit another school and see another teacher’s great idea, that you then ‘magpie’ away for later? That’s effectively what Twitter gives you. It’s the world’s largest staffroom. Spend a few minutes on your timeline and you’ll see people discussing their day: positively and negatively; sharing ideas; asking for help or pointing people in the right direction to get help or a resource. It is perfect for sharing.
  2. IT’S SOCIABLE. We live in a strange time where some of us may have more digital friends than physical ones. But they’re friends that, at the push of a button, can offer help and advice... even if they’re in a different county, country or continent.
  3. IT’S CONVENIENT. Recently, I wanted the level thresholds for SATs, so rather than spend ages searching on the DfE site, I went on Twitter and I had the result within a minute.
  4. IT’S ADDICTIVE. Twitter can be a treasure trove of instant ideas and once you get into it, you’ll love it.
  5. IT’S EASY. There’s a bit of Twitter terminology and a few acronyms (see our glossary at www.bit.ly/SSTwitterglossary) but after a couple of Tweets, you’ll soon pick it all up. It’s one of the simplest social networks and that is its main USP. Twitter is an easy-to-use forum of thoughts and ideas from people just like you.

This last point needs expanding a little. Twitter is a place where you can go to read and engage in conversations in your specific field: in our case education. Engage in weekly discussions using the #ukedchat tag; or seek out more specific discussions such as #sltchat or #mflchat. Look out for authors, illustrators and children’s book bloggers too. Once you’re following one, Twitter cleverly suggests others to follow. If you want to be part of the chat, part of the action – you need to engage. So just dive in!

I created, along with my digital partner @mrlockyer, a site called batttuk.wordpress.com – Bring A Teacher To Twitter. There are lots of helpful posts on there about how to start your Twitter life; how to build it and how to then move on to introducing someone else. The question shouldn’t be Why should I bother with Twitter? it should be Why wouldn’t I bother with Twitter? Go on, take the plunge, see what you’re missing. You could even send your very first tweet to @SprngbrdStories.

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