My article about the use of Twitter in Orange Class (@ClassroomTweets) was recently published in English 4-11. I have changed some of the ways in which we use Twitter even within the short time between writing and publication of the article. I plan on writing another more up-to-date reflection on how we have been using Twitter soon but in the meantime hopefully this will provide you with the context in which our work is based. As this is the first article I have ever had published I would value any comments or feedback as to what you think about it.
After initially being sceptical I have now been bitten by the Twitter bug and hence my lack of blog posts recently. I think part of the reason is Twitter is easier than blogging. You provide a short snapshot of what you are doing and click update – that’s it. It’s interesting to view your timeline after a week just to see what you have (or have not) achieved.
Another huge dimension of Twitter is the community and interaction aspect. During the holidays I happened to see a tweet about an online webcast (#wttw) and 10 minutes later found myself taking part in it from the comfort of my own home. You don’t come across things like this on Facebook.
I’ve seen various groups talking about using Twitter in the classroom – most of the ideas seemed to be pie in the sky thinking. So I decided to act upon it – bringing the pie down from the sky. So my class now has their own Twitter account – @ClassroomTweets. We manage this in class by having one of our classroom computers running the ‘tweet’ page so that class members can type what they are doing or thinking throughout the day. There are a few simple rules - tweeters must not mention any child’s name or respond to any messages or replies to tweets ‘from the outside’ without either myself or my amazing teaching assistant Elaine being present. It’s extremely interesting to read as the class teacher. For example, I’ve learned that my class only class a ‘literacy lesson’ as the time I am teaching from the front of the class – they believe the time they are at their desks working isn’t classed as ‘literacy’ or indeed a lesson.
Let’s see what else I can learn from reading tweets…