Aug 24 2017

Twitter Helps Teachers Develop Professional Learning Communities

We’ve got you covered for #back2school by taking a look at the conversation on #edtechchat.

If you are on the lookout for an educator community, or you happen to be an administrator trying to find out what teachers are talking about, look no further than Twitter. The social media platform is a treasure trove for teachers seeking advice on how to make learning better for students (or “Ss” as they’re called on Twitter.)

One popular hashtag, #edtechchat, explores a new topic regularly. As educators prepare to head #back2school, we checked in to see what they’re buzzing about.

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#Edtechchat Curates Advice on Instilling Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship and digital civility are quickly becoming skills as important as addition or subtraction. It’s baked into ISTE’s Standards for Students, and tech giant Google even released a video game to help teach it.

From the first day of school, teachers on Twitter agree that they can help build good digital skills. For the most part, educators are in agreement that students need to explore in a safe place and see models of appropriate internet behavior.

Rather than calling out negative behavior, teachers should help students understand what makes a good digital citizen.

Educators also indicate that it is quite important for students to work online in a way that is very close to how they would use the internet away from school or in a future job.

Educators Should Look to Twitter for Advice

Clearly, with hashtags like #edtechchat, Twitter can be an underutilized tool for educators, in terms of finding a personal learning community. While professional development (PD) and training are very important, Twitter is one of the easiest places to connect with other educators.

“Twitter chats are your best friend,” writes EdTech top blogger Glenn Wiebe on History Tech. “Even if you choose to not use Twitter as a teaching tool, sit back and think about the possibilities of using Twitter as personal professional learning tool.”

Rather than waiting for PD sessions, Wiebe writes that Twitter lets teachers access ways to hone their skills 24/7.

Another top blogger, Kyle Pace, writes that Twitter is a great place to connect with “brilliant people” like conference presenters, authors and, of course, fellow teachers.

“Twitter is definitely one of those things that follow the rule of ‘you get out of it what you put into it,’” writes Pace. “If you create an account, be sure to add a profile image, fill out your bio (we want to know about you!) and spend some time with it and give it a good chance!”

Even without a Twitter account, Pace suggests that educators check in on popular hashtags to see what other teachers are talking about. If you do get on Twitter, be sure to follow @EdTech_K12 and our top bloggers!

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