I have truly enjoyed seeing all of the posts, pictures, and videos being shared to #FeastCharter. I have learned more than ever about the great things happening in your classrooms and I have been inspired by what you are doing everyday to make these things possible.
Today, I got an alert about a teacher using Swift Playgrounds, which I have been excited about for months now…I immediately went to her room and found her students incredibly engaged in coding, problem solving, communicating, and critical thinking. I also saw a post from @FeasterDoesScience asking a question and it sparked my curiosity and I ended up googling the answer! I also noticed that a teacher was reunited with a former student because of a post by @DailyWolfPack. These opportunities would have been missed if we were not all connected on Twitter.
It’s a joy to see the engaging lessons and opportunities being provided to our learners. These are things that have always been happening, but now, we have a tool to share them!
Following our PD on building a PLN using Twitter, I reviewed the exit tickets and wanted to follow up on some specific questions that were asked:
Setting up Twitter
You can set up a Twitter account using an email address – I would recommend not using your district email because that may block some incoming alerts and you would potentially lose access in the event that you leave CVESD if you do not update the email account you have connected.
- Choose a profile name (make sure you google the name you choose before committing to it)
- Add a photo of yourself
- Complete your bio – include your current career and professional interests. I have seen profiles that include a career goal, which is a great way to let people know where you are headed professionally. Think of this like a personal vision statement – keep it short and include crucial information.
Teacher vs Class Account
With this question, I always reflect on the purpose of your Twitter account. If your Tweets are going to focus solely on your students and what you are doing in your classroom, that would be typical of a classroom Twitter account. If you are going to join Twitter Chats, share professional articles, use it to build connections with other educators, that would more along the lines of what we would see with a personal Twitter account.
For me, I prefer to have a personal Twitter account because I enjoy sharing pictures and videos of what is happening in my classroom and I want to connect with other educators as well. I am not posting anything that the parents in our community would have an issue with, but it is not solely about my classroom either; instead it is a blend of what is going on at Feaster and my professional learning.
Regardless of which type of account you choose – personal or class – it is crucial to keep in mind that we, as educators, are public figures. Anything that we post online, no matter how private or hidden we believe our social media account is, should be considered public information. Anything that we post is a simple screenshot or screen recording away from being shared.
A few tips:
- Keep a list of students who do not have permission to be photographed or video taped – this can be found on their media release forms
- Communicate with parents, let me know where they can find public pictures of their students and see them learning
- Post pictures of students doing the work, not their faces, if you are concerned about anonymity online. Posting pictures with the back of students’ heads is another way to provide some anonymity.
- Ask students if they are okay with you taking their picture – this models digital citizenship and shows them how to appropriately ask before posting something of someone else on social media
- Prevent private information from being shared online (student IEP info, socio-economic status, counseling services, etc)
- Be mindful of going live on social media when off campus
I would suggest posting as often as you want as long as the content is purposeful and high quality! We should avoid posting simply to post, and our Twitter feeds should be reflective of our professional goals and learning experiences. Anyone who finds that overwhelming doesn’t need to follow you or they can easily mute you, which will stop them from seeing your Tweets.
One tool to help spread out your posts is scheduling them using Tweetdeck. This will allow you to stagger the timing of your Tweets so that you are not posting one right after the other.
I would challenge you to Tweet at least one post a day – a reflection, picture, or video – that is relevant to what you are learning about or what you are doing in your classroom.
I appreciate the quote above because it is addresses not only the content we are putting out but the content we are consuming as well. Twitter is not a one-way communication tool; it can be something that we use to create and consume information. It is good that so many people are using our school hashtag, but it is fantastic if everyone is also reading the posts that are being published. You can easily see these posts by googling #FeasterCharter or going to this link.
Twitter vs Blog
The purpose of our Twitter page is to give everyone a place to post about what is going on in their classrooms or what they are learning and to give everyone the ability to see what teachers on our campus are doing or learning about. It is a mutual learning community online.
The purpose of our blog is to share refections on professional development, create articles that support our PLCs, and to share lengthy resources that may be relevant to the teachers on campus.
You cannot upload a picture to our blog, but if you have a blog topic, please email it (or Tweet it :)) to me – I am always looking for purposeful content to write about! You can upload pictures to Twitter tho!
How Does Twitter Work
This was the most difficult question for me to answer because I had never really thought about it…I just know that I post stuff, people share it or like it, I read posts and learn new things. To me, that is how Twitter works – I put out content and read what people who I follow are posting and I feel like I did something to learn more about my profession and better support the learners in our community.
I guess Twitter works by giving you a way to connect with other professionals and learn from each other. The more people you are following who have similar interests as you, the more resources you will have to learn from.
I hope to see our hashtag continue to grow so that teachers for years to come can look back and continue to progress their learning based on what we are doing here at Feaster and what we are sharing on Twitter!