News Teachers unlock tweet smell of success

Teachers unlock tweet smell of success
November 12, 2012
Ainslie MacGibbon and Elisabeth Tarica.

WHILE our leaders nut out what innovations are needed to elevate Australia's schools into the top five on the international league table by 2025, something more collaborative is already happening – on Twitter.

Educators in Australia and around the world are finding each other on the microblogging network to converse, exchange ideas and conduct research. Some argue this grassroots conversation will contribute significantly to improving what goes on in our classrooms. Others question how this is possible in 140 characters.

A common misconception is that Twitter aggregates only banal snippets – what my pet dog just ate, for example – while the utility of the site as a professional tool is overlooked. Yet many educators were "early adopters", and a growing number use Twitter as an integral part of their personal learning network (or PLN). At times education-related topics – or hashtags, such as #edchat, #edfocus and #edreform – are among the most discussed topics on Twitter worldwide.

Read more:

I handed my final assignment in for my Masters a couple of weeks ago. The assignment included a section on Twitter and how it can be used as a professional learning network for teachers to collaborate with other teachers globally.

I have received many great ideas from educators throughout the world that I follow on Twitter. Teacher Central is on Twitter too - @Teacher_Central if you're interested in following. If you're a history teacher, there is a Twitter chat every Wednesday night for Australian history teachers - look for #histedchat. Happy to answer any questions on Twitter if you're unsure about anything. Feel free to recommend people to follow or let the Teacher Central community know of your username if you like.