Twitter...I've had an account (@megskogie) for a couple of years...but I only started REALLY using it during this horribly long, cold winter! I started this blog in January and realized that Twitter could be a great tool for sharing my blog posts. I wasn't ready to share my blog on Facebook, but Twitter felt pretty safe. Once I started to use Twitter, I realized that Twitter is full of great resources! Great blog links, professional development, twitter chats, PLN's(Professional Learning Networks), links to professional resources, and the list could go on. I thought to myself after my first twitter chat that, "wow...all teachers should be on Twitter!" My friends that follow me on Twitter and see my #nerdtweets(that's what they call my tweets) know that I am on Twitter strictly for professional growth.
After, a couple of months of playing around on Twitter, I decided to start a class Twitter account after one of my fellow 4th grade teachers was brave enough to start one with her class. I had thought about it...but I just wasn't sure if it was acceptable and appropriate. I spoke with her about it and she referred to me a website that had some basic information on it about starting a classroom Twitter account. I read through it, created some ground rules for my class and created a class Twitter account. @Skogstad_Class
I pulled the account up on the SMARTBOARD and showed the class some basics. I told them that we would only follow people that would benefit our class educationally. I won't follow parents, students, sports heros, etc. Our main goal is to be able to share what we are doing in our classroom and to connect with other classrooms around the country.
The best part is picking our "tweeter of the day." This is an important honor for each student and they get to decide what to "tweet" each day. The rule is that they have to approve every tweet with me before they tweet it out. I have final say in what gets tweeted out since it is a reflection on our classroom. The students actually have great ideas and do a great job, I just usually check the spellings and add the hashtags. :-)
Our rules about tweeting are...
1. You can only use first names on Twitter.
2. Before you post a picture of someone on Twitter, they have to approve it.
3. The teacher has to approve every tweet before it is officially tweeted.
4. Twitter is a tool for learning in our classroom.
5. We only connect to people and classrooms that add value to our classroom.
There have been so many great things that have come out of starting a class Twitter account.
We have been able to
-connect with parents and keep them in the loop about our learning
-connect with other classrooms in our school and district
-connect with other classrooms around the country and world
-connect with current events and educational websites
-connect with educators who ask about our work
-share our learning with others
-connect with authors that we are currently reading and interact with them
Twitter has been a great experience and I definitely encourage you to start a personal Twitter account for professional learning and a class Twitter account to share all of the great things going on within your classroom!