Classroom tweets

I promise I really am “back,” ha! Life has been super busy lately as I have now finished up traveling all over the east coast for interviews, made my “job” decision, and am preparing for my big move! (More to come.) So, with that said, I have a number of drafts sitting here waiting to be posted that will be up and running here shortly…

Moving on…

I just read a VERY interesting article on using Twitter in the classroom. I’m really drawn to the closing statement:

But the point is not Twitter, because something else will come along to challenge and replace it. It’s the various forms of communication students need to master and the knowledge of which one, when, why, and how to use it effectively. Kids in today’s world need to be able to communicate the same idea and content in 3,000, 300, 30, 3, 1, and no words (using an image instead) and to do so on a sheet of paper, a computer screen, or a presentation screen, using words, images, sounds, and infographics as needed.

Wow. pretty powerful I think. Once again driving home the point I have tried to tell so many educators who are resistant to technology. It’s NOT about the technology. It’s about teaching kids how to learn and communicate in the multiple forms that are constantly shaping the world around us. (Not to mention communication with “no words.” Hmmm, you know I love anything to do with visual lit! :-))

I also particularly like how the article lists ideas from educators on how Twitter could look in the classroom. However, believe it or not, at times I find myself siding with the professor at Kent who wants to keep a clear division between students and his technology practices. (GASP!) Surprised? Let me explain…

I see TONS of potential with using technology in the classroom. TONS. There’s not a doubt in my mind. Yet, perhaps my new teacher, secret confession is that when it comes to some forms of “social” technology, I feel like I do need a slight division from my students.

For me, it’s not about hiding my life from people. After all, I blog, I tweet, I do all of that. I also understand that different technologies have different purposes on what information I convey through them (just like the quote above states!). Actually, I think it has more to do with the fact that I feel that to establish my teacher identity, I have to draw that line.

Sort of ironic, no? New teacher, complete technology/new literacies advocate. And in a tiny corner in the back of my head I’m thinking, “No students allowed!” However, the potential is there. The possibilities endless. The reason behind why I have to make my point/expectation for technology integration very, very clear…absolutely. And I guess I’ve found if I make my expectations clear, if I have a clear purpose for integrating tech into my classroom, then something really powerful can happen as students begin to not just learn, but learn from each other, creating powerful learning spaces on their own. Furthermore, yes, though students may be sujected to heinous material out there, isn’t part of our job to teach students how to navigate safely? How to develop a safe, online persona?

Ultimately, the benefits greatly outweigh my minor insecurities, but I think it’s good for me to be able to say that I DO have insecurities. I think it gives me credibility when I’m working with reluctant educators who are completely anti-tech. I think it also makes me think more deeply about my own pedagogy and strategies that I want to employ in my classroom.

And in the end, despite my new teacher confession, I’m absolutely using technology in the classroom! (But then again, you already knew that now, didn’t you? ;-))

p.s. I also came across this post that made me laugh…not sure this is how to get educators on board with technology, but the highlighted post here definitely brings up great points.


2 thoughts on “Classroom tweets

  1. Crystal, Good to “meet” you. I teach at Lakeview Academy (middle school science) and in a former life, I was a technology integration specialist and I love technology. Technology has changed and looks completely different from what it did when I was teaching tech classes to teachers in 99-02. I’ve been tinkering with online classes in the past couple of years to learn more about the tools available to me and my students. I “think” my daughter will be one of your students next year. I googled your name and found your blog. My daughter, Mary, is sitting beside me and we are excited about the possibilities of learning in Junior CP English!! Hope to meet you soon (July 27th at the institute??)

    • Hi, Martha! Thanks so much for your note! I am definitely very excited about the upcoming year. And yes, I will be at the institute and look forward to meeting you there! 🙂

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