OK, I’m in a mood. Not a bad mood. Just a mood. I love twitter for many reasons. I love to share “stuff” and see what others are doing in their classrooms on a daily basis. I love reading professional articles and seeing other opinions and ideas. Twitter gives me a voice and allows me to push the coding movement. I just have some concerns. Maybe I’m being dramatic. You decide, then tweet me.
I’ve been following quite a few twitter feeds lately and noticing some parallel trends. As such, I’d like to create a list of reasons not to join twitter. After all, we love lists, right? See what I did there…
- To become a “21st century connected educator”
- If you are a teacher today, you are a 21st century educator. Do you keep up with current practices and trends? I bet you do. Does twitter help with that – absolutely. But there are other methods too. Twitter may help, but does it really define who we are? It seems redundant when posted in a bio. We live in a connected world. Teachers who are in isolation haven chosen to do so.
- To find likeminded individuals and conduct an echo chamber.
- I’m guilty of this one. We tend to want to surround ourselves with likeminded folks who all agree with everything we say, offer a retweet to everything we post and never challenge each other. I’ve made it a goal to seek opposite opinions and ideas to better push my thinking and challenge me as a professional. I have genuine concerns when ideas go viral that are irrelevant on a global platform. Too many variables to consider in context and what works for me certainly may not work for you. For example, I worry about teachers who feel they must flip classrooms because others do when they have equity issues regarding technology access at home. For many, trends like these are just not possible and rarely do we consider the privacy issues.
- To get a teaching job.
- How many prospective students have been told to join twitter to get a teaching job. It’s not as much about twitter as it is to being open to new ideas, ways of thinking and collaboration. Twitter alone won’t get you the job, but it may be a starting point. I’m starting to wonder if twitter has become a sort of pyramid scheme – “follow me for great ideas and tell your friends.” See #4 ->
- To follow “so and so” who has all the answers
- Sometimes the number of followers a person has just depends on when they joined and how active they are. I am as clueless about education today as I was when I started a decade ago. Everything is changing at a rapid pace and no one can claim to be an expert. You are the educator on the front lines. You are the expert. You know your students best.
- To engage in (Corporate) Twitter chats
- I love me a good #satchat, I really do. But there are so many twitter chats now, no one can truly keep up. Many of them are now backed by corporate goals to move product and service. Yet, how many educators feel external pressure to join a chat or two to show they are engaging in self-directed learning and professional development. How is someone new to the service able to decipher between the two? Here’s an idea, create your own school hashtag and have a school twitter chat after hours or on a PA day. Invite parents to join the conversation. This way it is relevant to your school and community. Or just have a face to face round table discussion in the library. Better yet, tweet each other during the f2f round table discussion.
Well there you have it. Grumpy cat over here just needed to vent. Thanks for allowing me to waste your precious time in reading this.
I hope you can filter through the negative dribble and see what this post is really about. Twitter is a great resource but a “5 Reasons to Join Twitter” list just isn’t as much fun. Call me passive aggressive.
I would love it if you could tweet this article.
4 Responses for this post
Twitter has revolutionized my teaching practices by way of networking alone. Because of it, I am constantly inundated with ideas that have improved my pedagogy in too many ways for me to keep track. Case in point. Last week my grade eight students were struggling with the understanding of scatterplots. After numerous explanations and tasks to reinforce the concept, I was drawing a blank. A quite tweet posted to the twitterverse, tagging a few select tweeps and within 5 minutes I had enough resources to last me a week. On top of that they were engaging and, dare I say….fun. So much so that I used one when I was having my performance appraisal done.
Rant received….lines between read.
I think there’s a lot of good in here, and I’m more than happy to support a “grumpy cat” that I happen to respect and enjoy dialoguing with (on a daily basis). I’d also say that while at times, our conversations may be considered part of the “echo chamber,” I think that we also push each other enough to have some real professional discourse. That’s important. So maybe a little echo chamber can be balanced out with some good questioning too.
P.S. I’m not usually a fan of Top 5 lists, but this is the exception …
The echo chamber effect is beneficial sometimes when there are ideas added and thinking is moved along. I know I have benefited from this on more than one occasion. I also agree with Aviva that the discourse created with questioning is essential. Being able to share ideas and have critical friends in my PLN respond has been the best part about joining Twitter. I was reluctant to do so last spring, but a push from a colleague got me hooked. You are right when you question the motives for joining – we all need to be more mindful about why we are doing something. What started off as a way to share classroom learning experiences has morphed into a great professional learning platform for me.
Thanks for pushing the “grumpy cat” and challenging reflection on reasons for using Twitter.