Is Twitter the Driving Force Behind Educational Change?

Last night I logged into my Twitter Account and entered my first tweet!!

“Hi #pegeeks #peapps Any recommendations for good PE teaching Android apps out there?”

I couldn’t believe the number of Twitterers (is that a word) who have tweeted about PE and technology. It’s amazing.

Over the past few days I have been following some other PE blogs such as Mr Robbo, the PE Geek and Jonesytheteacher: Having a crack at putting PE into the 21st C and have been really inspired with their views on technology in the PE classroom and also the resources that they are using with their students. Mr Robbo is using and designing a number of apps for both the Apple and Android markets for both students and teachers to use in class to make learning more fun and authentic.

While looking around for more Android apps, Jonesytheteacher suggested that I tweet a message and tag #pegeeks in it.  I then searched out this PEgeek group and was overjoyed (and a little overwhelmed) at the number of people following and tweeting this subject.

While I was going through the most recent PEgeeks tweets, I came across this tweet which got me thinking:

Is Twitter Driving Force Behind Educational Change”

I am a first time Twitter user and have actually resisted the move to open an account before joining the COETAIL cohort. I’m not opposed to social networking. I have a Facebook account and lurk around the odd forum now and again, but Twitter just seemed too public and widespread for my needs.

A few years back I had a discussion about it with a friend of mine who highly recommended Twitter and its widespread audience. She is a professional photographer and conceded that its best use was for promoting her business and photographs to a large audience, most of whom she had never met. She claims not to be using Twitter for personal use (I beg to differ, Yoga has nothing to do with photography), but felt it was the best type of marketing she could have wished for.

I have other friends who I am now following and see that all of them are using Twitter to promote their businesses. There are also a number of colleagues past and present that I am following and notice that they are tweeting regularly to share new ideas inside their curricula area (mainly Tech coordinators).

I can totally see the power that comes with Twitter in getting a message across. What an amazing forum that allows people to share and promote new ideas. I could see from just following the PEgeek group that I was going to be able to learn so many new ideas from both experts and novices in this field. Here I was asking for help from a huge group of people I had never met with the same interest as me.

I then followed the link to read more about “Is Twitter the Driving Force behind Educational Change”. The first paragraph captured my attention.

An article written by S. posed the question, “Are we living through a process whereby social media is finally breaking down some of the traditional divides that have kept education transformation suppressed?” He then proposes ways in which Twitter is facilitating that process.

The author of this article Justin Marquis, breaks down his thoughts on why he supports the idea that Twitter is “a good tool for jumpstarting large-scale educational reform”

  1. Break down the barriers that have made it difficult for teachers from different sectors to meet, collaborate, and talk.
  2. Spawn new grassroots movements, such as Teach Meets, where teachers from any background can freely share ideas.
  3. Enable quick transfer of outstanding ideas and practice to anyone interested.
  4. Gather a new educational tribe, one that has education and vision ahead of administration, policy, or politics bring together people who share a common passion for seeing students fully engaged in their learning.
  5. Challenge people to accelerate the change process at their respective institutions.
  6. Enable easy access to educational visionaries from all over the globe.
  7. Highlight where government policy is hopelessly inadequate across the world.
  8. Enable thought leaders to bounce their ideas with a speed and strength previously impossible.
  9. Demonstrate that educational analysis can reflect current dialogue, not articles that surface a year after a conversation.

Numbers 1-4 appeal to me the most in terms of using Twitter for my own professional growth. I am ready to take the plunge and become a faithful Twitter follower and reap the benefits of all those educational experts out there. Who knows if Twitter really will be the driving force behind global educational change but I think I can safely say that it will become a major player in my efforts to develop as an educator.

 

3 comments for “Is Twitter the Driving Force Behind Educational Change?

  1. Avatar of Sarah Fleming
    March 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I am also really excited by the power of Twitter in the educational realm. Until now, I had always used Twitter socially, and not considered using it to get involved with a community of educators. It makes me think back to an article I read in the New Yorker, that it is our acquaintances (‘weak-ties’) and not friends (‘strong ties’) our that are our greatest source of new ideas. On Twitter, you can have hundreds of acquaintances with similar interests, which would be challenging otherwise. I see Twitter as an exciting opportunity to reframe our reflective practice, seamlessly share practical ideas, and create new platforms for collaboration. You’ve got me excited about it!

  2. Avatar of Simrun Singh Aurora
    March 19, 2012 at 1:53 am

    I really appreciate the points which you added in the “a good tool for jumpstarting large-scale educational reform”. I have started to use and open the twitter account very recently but I am so engaged with it now.Using it has been really interesting and informative and thinking beyond and being mused too.I think its the more we use it in the right direction better we become each day.

  3. Avatar of Jeff Utecht
    March 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    W00T! Another Tweeter sold!

    It’s funny people don’t like the “public” part of Twitter..but it’s the public part that makes it so powerful. There’s now password wall to hide behind. People freely sharing their links, thoughts, ideas, and conversations with others. As much as we hate that it’s public that’s exactly why it works.

    Welcome to Twitter……and prepare yourself for a new adventure. Hopefully you have tweetdeck installed…if not….that’s step #2. :)

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