Why Twitter Is a Teacher's Best Tool

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Why Twitter Is a Teacher's Best Tool Why Twitter Is a Teacher's Best Tool
Education

Why Twitter Is a Teacher's Best Tool

by Liz Dwyer

May 26, 2011

Teachers are increasingly bringing the real-time communication power of Twitter into the classroom to help students learn. But I've come to the conclusion that it's great for helping teachers learn as well. Twitter has simply become one of the best places for teachers to collaborate, share solutions to common classroom problems, and discuss education policy. In fact, it might just be the best forum teachers have ever had.

Educators can also use Twitter to keep up with education policy. Before Twitter, educators often had no idea what the big players, like the Department of Education and the Secretary of Education, were up to on a daily basis. Now one can just scan the Twitter timelines of the DOE and the department's press secretary, Justin Hamilton. And it's not just a that teachers are able to stay up-to-date; there's also more conversation between educators and the DOE. In the wake of Arne Duncan's recent open letter to teachers expressing his appreciation for their hard work, which was not well received by many educators, teachers took to Twitter to let Hamilton know their displeasure. And, because of the nature of Twitter, he had to respond.

Not all teachers have totally embraced Twitter. Some are a little tech-phobic. Those that aren't are sometimes concerned about sharing information in public when their colleagues are getting fired for what they write on personal blogs and Facebook pages. If a teacher is honest about the challenges at her school—say she tweets about possible cheating on standardized tests—a vindictive administrator could make her life miserable for “airing dirty laundry.” But many avoid the pitfalls of public information-sharing by simply using anonymous identities on Twitter. And good for them. America's students deserve teachers who've been taught well themselves, and right now, Twitter is the best way for educators to get a continuing professional education.

photo (cc) via Flickr user Creative Tools

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