Twitter Use in the Classroom

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For our ECMP 355 class, we were tasked with creating a conversation that presented likely issues that could arise regarding technology use in the classroom. 

Twitter Use in the Classroom: A Conversation between a Concerned Principal and a Tech-Savvy Teacher

By Brittany Jefferson & Sarah Munro

Administrator:

Good morning! I had some concerns brought to my attention from a few of your grade 8 parents that I wanted to talk with you about. They are worried about your use of Twitter in your class, mainly regarding privacy issues, and pictures of their child being posted online for others to see.  

 

Teacher:

Sure, I completely understand. As I am using the site primarily as a way to stay connected with parents, I am more than happy to make our feed private so that only approved parents or guardians can view what is posted!  Do you know if these parents completed the consent form for permission to post images of their child online? I am aware of a few of my students whose parents did complete this form, and I am very careful to not have them identifiable in any pictures I post. If there are more parents who have this concern, make sure they contact me and I can send a form their way.

 

Administrator:

That sounds like a great idea, I will touch base with them and let you know. Another issue I wanted to discuss was their concern regarding having their child interact unsupervised with other individuals online. They are worried about the possibilities this could create, and who exactly their child could be in contact with.

 

Teacher:

As a class we actually only have one account that the students and I both use. I use the site primarily to post updates and reminders, but the students are encouraged to use it as well. However, the students are only able to post something if I approve it first, and we always discuss the importance of thinking and reflecting on what they post before it’s submitted. Also, the students do not have access to the iPads without my permission or supervision, so I am always able to monitor their use. I really believe Twitter is a great tool to use in the classroom. Many educators use it for a variety of things. I provide resources for parents to learn ways Twitter is being implemented in the classrooms and the benefits it has.

http://www.teachhub.com/13-reasons-use-twitter-classroom

https://elearningindustry.com/15-ways-twitter-in-education-students-teachers

 

Administrator:

That sounds great, it’s obvious you have put a lot of thought into this. However, I am worried about the implications of introducing the students to Twitter. This could lead them to wanting to create a private account for their personal use, which could result in some parents feeling uneasy. I am also concerned about the potential issues using Twitter will create in our school, such as cyber bullying, inappropriate posts, or feed into a lack of social interaction with their peers.

 

Teacher:

These issues are constantly being addressed in my class as we have been learning about digital citizenship. Digital Citi

zenship prepares students to use technology in a way that is responsible and appropriate. I think many parents resort to restricting the use of technology for their kids to keep them safe, but I really focus on teaching them how to use it properly and safely.  Whether we like it or not, technology is a huge part of their lives and they need it to be successful in our society.   If any parents want to learn more about the importance of teaching digital citizenship, they can check out http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/

 

Administrator:

You seem very competent in this topic, how do you teach digital citizenship in your classroom?

 

Teacher:

I think one of the most powerful ways to teach digital citizenship is to give youth real life examples. One of the of the examples that we study is Amanda Todd. We look at clips of her stories and discuss how those decisions online impacted her.  We also look at the positive ways Amanda used technology to promote her love of singing, but we also look at how her involvement in chat rooms negatively impacted her life. We look at the consequences of her actions, and how her peers responded by cyber bullying. We also try to communicate with parents that we need to create a safe place for students to share with us what is going on with their lives. I highly recommend parents to look at the documentary of Amanda Todd. They then can begin to have a conversation about digital citizenship at home with their child.

 

Administrator:

Thank you for addressing all of my concerns. I feel much more comfortable with technology in the classroom! I think you presented some great ideas that would be really beneficial to introduce to the rest of the staff.  Have a good rest of your day!

 

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