Thursday, December 17, 2009

Confessions of a teacher using twitter

I am always interested in using new technology. However like so many people I had heard the criticisms of Twitter before trying the service so when a friend @lescarr suggested I use Twitter I responded by saying that no one would be interested in my regular bowel movements. I resisted for a few months but eventually my desire to see what everyone was on about got the better of me and I signed up as @baggiepr.

Initial Sign Up
When I first signed up Twitter offered to search my emails to find contacts that I knew who were already on Twitter. This resulted in 20 twitter contacts, some of which I regularly tweet with now but many were dead accounts or tweeted on subjects and topics that were not helpful or interesting to me. I persevered but was increasingly frustrated with my Twitter feed.

Help from a Twitter Evangelist
Recently thanks to @ianaddison I have expanded the people who I follow to include lots of teachers and Twitter has taken on the form of a support group and place to share ideas. I took part in online CPD via Teachmeet (A video and Twitter feed of teachers presenting great ICT ideas that work in their classrooms) I collaborated via etherpad (Shared online space) to find and share great Web 2.0 tools to use in the classroom thanks to @chrisleach78 and have gained and shared lots of new educational ideas. I only wrote this blog entry after a great article by @Teachpaperless on why every teacher should blog.

Twitter Downside
Twitter has its downside. I think I am still too obsessed with keeping up with everything. @lescarr says I shouldn't treat it like email but should dip in when I have time. Good advice and I am taking blocks of time out of Twitter to create and do.

I think every teacher should try Twitter but get an experienced teacher/twitter user to point you towards great Twitter users that add value to your online experience.

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