Before this class, I had no idea Twitter could be used in a professional teaching aspect. I always thought of Twitter as a website strictly used for personal thoughts and interactions. I never thought of it in a professional way. After making my professional Twitter account, it was cool to be able to participate in different Twitter chats and interact with teachers and other professionals on different topics of discussion. My first chat wasn’t very interactive because I didn’t follow many people, and so I picked a random chat (#edchat). After following multiple educators and classmates, I was able to see Twitter chats that people I was following were interacting in. This week I participated in #blogchat. This chat was a lot more interactive. I posted a question and within seconds I got multiple responses. It was a much more exciting experience than my first. I also got great advice on how to find my voice when it comes to blogging!
Now you ask: how can this be applied in the classroom? Well before interacting on Twitter through Twitter chats, and watching videos of teachers who actually use Twitter in their classroom, I didn’t know Twitter and teaching could be a thing; but I was very wrong. As I stated in my previous blogpost, Twitter can make your classroom more exciting and allow your shyer students to become more engaged in discussion. So I was thinking, well this is great for a writing class, but what about us math teachers? How can we use Twitter to benefit our classroom? I came to realize through my Twitter chat that we could have Twitter discussions posting math problems and having our students post their thoughts and opinions on how to solve. After learning the different uses Twitter can have, I am excited to try them out when I do start teaching.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra.” (Jimmy Johnson). When it comes to students in the classroom, they all need that little extra push. Whether a student is struggling for those few extra points for an A or barley passing, our job as educators is to help them achieve their goals. A way to do so is by inspiring these students. Pushing them to their limits and always telling them they can do better. Never put your students down, and always keep them thinking positive. A happy student is a motivated student. If we inspire our students, they will succeed and be the best that they can be.
Now you may ask? How can we inspire and motivate these kids; especially the ones who really don’t care to learn? In the TED Talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, Rita Pierson does a great job explaining ways to really motivate these students to learn. She puts her students in a positive mindset and motivates them to do better. She believes in her students and they know that. This is how we make our students successful. As I said, a happy learner is a successful learner. In the video she states, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” If we build bonds with our students and show them we care, they will be inspired and actually want to learn. In the article, Motivating Students, it states: “Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively.” So let’s motivate, inspire, encourage and stimulate our learners’ minds! Let them know to shoot for the moon, and even if they miss, they’ll land among the stars. (Les Brown)
With modern day technology we have numerous ways of teaching our students. We don’t realize how we can make things more exciting in the classroom by using these tools. When looking through the textbook, The Global Educator, I came across different tools of community and social media. One that struck me was Twitter: a tool almost every student is familiar with. Students use this tool every day for personal uses. But what if we could use this tool to create discussion boards beyond the classroom. What if student could use their Twitter accounts to blog and interact with other classmates. The lesson plan, Twitter and Academic Research, starts off teaching students how to use Twitter; for those who are unfamiliar. This is followed by a presentation after the lecture. This presentation is done by tweeting. Students must use hashtags to search things related to the topic of discussion. Finally, once they all have tweeted the class will discuss what they have found.
This lesson plan isn’t the only thing I found where students are able to engage with Twitter in the classroom. In the video, CNN: Twitter has place in classroom, a high school teacher notices how much students are on their devices and uses this as a tool in the classroom. He decides to allow students to engage using Twitter as part of the group discussion. He asks his students questions in the classroom and then asks them to tweet about it using their own technology or technology in the classroom. These tweets would then project on the board where they would be able to discuss them as a class. This helps every student participate in the discussion. A lot of students do not participate in out loud discussion because they are too shy, so this is a way to include everyone. He says in the video, “Twitter did become this Paperless way of sharing what’s on their mind.” This is the future of journal writing. As technology advances, so will our tools in the classroom.
In today’s society, almost everyone engages in the use of social media. According to N.J. School Boards Association Issues Model Social Networking Policy, school boards are required to have policies governing the use of social media communication between teachers and students. These policies must be written to standardize appropriate ways of virtual contact between students and faculty. In our present world, this is important. We are living in a time where technology is a big part of society. I always hear things about being careful of what I post online because future jobs might look at it. Now that they have specifics in what we should or should not be posting, it will be easier for employees to be more careful about these things. Also, this will make it easier for employers to have specific documentation to reference when accusing someone. The bill allows different communities to have different policies when it comes to the guidelines of internet use. This is very important because different communities have different types of people living there with different opinions. So policies should consider the needs and culture of the community.
Although different districts may have different rules as to what you should or should not be posted on the internet, these are my tips concerning ways to avoid losing your job while using technology!
Keep your accounts on private. Although you shouldn’t post anything you do not want students or employers to see, you also don’t know who’s going to tag you in an inappropriate picture. To make your life easier put your accounts on private!
Keep your accounts unsearchable. Kids these days can easily search you on the internet. To make sure they will be unable to, use a fake name. Maybe a nickname or middle name that only close family and friends would know. This way students and employers are unable to find you! Only share these accounts with close family and friends.
Keep your work life and personal life separate. Students should not know about your personal life. Avoid posting things on the internet that would affect your students comfort towards you if they ended up seeing it.
If you came to this page wondering how you can get fired, do not follow those tips! Follow these tips as to how to lose your job:
Keep your personal accounts open to the public. Adding students on personal social media accounts will allow them to see everything you post. Most schools do not allow you to friend your students on your personal accounts. This a great way for you to lose your job!
Share racist, prejudice, or sexual content for everyone to see. Whether if it is your own post, or someone else who tagged you; either will get you fired.
Post inappropriate pictures that may make your students uncomfortable. Anything that can affect your students learning outcome will definitely do the trick!
Communicate with your students nonprofessionally via text, phone call, private accounts, etc. Talking to students through personal accounts is not professional and will make you look suspicious!
And there you have it. Follow these tips and you will lose your job in no time!