Twitter: True or False?

Twitter.  It’s a social media tool used by millions daily for many different reasons. No question, twitter is powerful.

When I ask ASPS students (grade 7 and 8)  how and when they use twitter their responses are most often connected to following famous people or checking out what is being said around possibly a particular event.  I’m not sure they see it a tool that can help them learn and network with others in the world.

In general, this chart captures an overview of why people are on twitter:
Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 3.45.49 PMSource: How people use twitter in general, American Press Institute 

This post is sparked by a morning of learning alongside with Class 8E and Mr. Brett at on April 19.  Our learning situated around the topic of sourcing and making the connection to this question:  how do we back up what we write? Lots of good discussion and then it got very interesting when twitter came up.

Twitter T or F

How do you know if what you are reading on twitter, who you are following on twitter, what you are liking and/or retweeting is true? As an educator, this is a very important question and one that merits ongoing discussion and reflection with our students.

During our time together in class, an intriguing discussion about twitter ensued.  Students were sharing their thoughts with enthusiasm.  Much of discussion delved into whether twitter was a reliable source. Students commented that often information shared in tweets is questionable, one-sided and often to get attention in the form of the celebrity way. Teachable moments galore!

To help illustrate to students that twitter can be so much more if you cultivate it, I sought the support of my PLN. I posed these questions:

And guess what?  My PLN did not disappoint. Thank you for the responses and being there for me to bring forward to our grade eight students the power of a PLN, my PLN. A personal learning network is cultivated over time and built with mindfulness and can be reliable, trusted and accessed to support your / our learning.  Who you follow matters. How you determine who to follow and interact with makes a difference in your experience.

PLN:  You being there in the moment was powerful. Thank you. Not only in responding to my inquiry but in bringing forward the power of crowdsourcing from others that aren’t in the room. Showing ASPS students how twitter is participatory in ways that serve learning and networking beyond the walls of our school.

Here is a collection of your responses:

How do we back up what we write, endorse and share on twitter?
It is no different from other digital ways of learning, sharing, collaborating and accessing information.  It’s about being a good digital citizen. Using social media and digital tools ethically and and responsibly.

One thought on “Twitter: True or False?

  1. Like any kind of communication, it needs to have a purpose to give it authenticity. Twitter then, should fulfil that purpose or need to make it effective. In school, it then is important to set limits and create the purpose…to get kids to an understanding of digital citizenship, when it’s appropriate to post and what to post…separating personal life and school life, not taking and posting pictures of other students…because they are under 18…etc. Making sure that what they tweet doesn’t show on other feeds or that other feeds don’t show up on Twitter. There are many levels to Twitter that I would feel uncomfortable having students use it(their own account that is…of course they should be 13 anyway)…there are many safer, less open tools kids can use to express their learning in classroom.

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