Yes, I tweet. Feel free to make your twit joke now. I started to use Twitter at the start of the school year after an article I read about using it for schools. You might be surprised to know that Grosse Pointe North has a Twitter account. So does the school district. There is a very good reason they tweet. Information. Spreading information is key in our job and Twitter is just another way to do that.
Getting started is not as scary as you think. Here is a link to get the skinny on Twitter. It's on a blog by Kate Klingensmith and she always has something interesting to say on various topics. I also bookmarked it on my Diigo account as well. A simple Google search will bring up many articles and blogs telling you why tweeting as a teacher is a great thing. I will tell you why it is a good thing from my experience.
Reasons Why I Tweet as a Teacher:
1. It gives my students to be connected to the class at all times. If I have something I want my students to know about, I no longer have to wait until the next day. That information is there in an instant. I always seem to come across something on TV that I would love for my kids to watch, but I can't tell them in time. Now they could know.
2. It can keep me informed about the world around me when I'm out and about. You can follow many different news sites and receive information from around the world. In the information age, having access to the information is important.
3. There are smart teachers out there. There are many great teaches out there that tweet about great sites they use in class or practices that have worked well for them. It would be crazy to not want to be in contact with them. Sharing is a huge part of what teachers do all day. Why not reach out and share your ideas with other teachers and take the ideas they have if you want. Learning is global. It's important for you start thinking and sharing that way.
4. Sick Days! On the occasion that I'm not feeling well, I can send a tweet to my followers to let them know that I will not be in school and they have an extra day on their assignment. Kids love to hear about extra time on assignments. Now they can show up to your class knowing what to expect.
5. Parent contact. Not all parents are on Twitter, but the numbers are growing. This is another way for you to reach out to parents and share information. Let them know that the online gradebook has been updated. Let them know about the project that is due next week and that the information can be found on your website. Communication is very important in our job. This is just another tool for our box.
6. I talk too much! I have had to learn to be concise with my information. With only 140 character, I have learned to put the focus on the important information. If I could only do that for my story telling.
There are many more uses for Twitter, but those are some of the big ones. Think of the many different things you could do with another from of communication. Give it a try!