Sunday, January 30, 2011

Should Teachers Tweet?

An editorial in the Mobile, AL Press-Register got my attention Friday: Should Teachers Tweet? 

This editorial demanded my attention for a multitude of reasons: 
  • I teacher preservice teachers: elementary education majors, as well as inservice teachers: graduate students.
  • I'm a parent and aunt of children in the Mobile County Public School System.
  • I am an avid Tweeter @pvbaggett and proclaim quite often that it is my #1 professional development resource with the disclaimer that it is all in who you follow.
  • This semester I am requiring my students to explore Twitter by registering and at least following me (and others I designated as tweet-worthy). I want our future teachers to walk a mile (or at least a few steps) in the shoes before they judge...which is a practice I personally try to uphold.
Please read (or re-read) the editiorial and share your thoughts...

7 comments:

Wm Chamberlain said...

I find it rather telling that parents trust us being face to face with their children but not online with them. While this particular incident is not very clear, I suspect that identifying a problem with a relationship between a teacher and a student would be easier to identify if they were contacting each other through social media than other means.

I guess what I am saying is while I cannot comment on the specific story I can say that parents are usually very ignorant about how social media can be used positively.

Paige V. Baggett said...

Thanks for getting the discussion started Wm Chamberlain. In response to "parents are usually very ignorant about how social media can be used positively," it is my opinion that we, as experienced users of social media, can educate parents (as well as students) and possibly alleviate some of the "ignorance" and negative feelings which usually stem from fear of the unknown, as well as negative media hype.

Jane Hake said...

Agree with you both...and I would like to add that I have heard more than once the comment among the public that tweets are about "hi, I'm making a sandwich now" and not sharing of worthwhile information. As a parent and a teacher, I am thinking that perhaps some parents fear that teachers will reveal too much "personal information" or that perhaps their students may do the same.

Rebekah Lloyd said...

I believe, as with anything, that it must be done in the most proper way possible. Sending multiple personal emails to a student is crossing the line, however, if used properly, I am seeing that Twitter is an excellent resource. Honestly, I prefer to NOT use it as a personal tool because well, I do not have the time. However, I DO think that it is useful as a professional tool to learn and ask for help. So, if a teacher wants his or her students to follow an account, then make sure it is ONLY to promote classroom work and/or resources.

Leslie Roberson said...

I read the article and I agree.... What is the difference between class room time and facebook messaging a student if they have a questions. Students look to teachers for guidance and sometimes rather confide with the teacher instead of their parents about certain issues. As long as the facebook or twitter messages are appropriate what is the difference between social networks and emailing back and forth. They advertise their email address on the school website is it not almost the same thing. Those are just my thoughts.

Jennifer said...

Hi, Dr. Baggett!
Well, first off, I don't work with twitter(I did set up an account due to it being a requirement). I do not have internet access on my phone because I am too cheap to pay the extra for it. So, I don't get up to the minute information. When I am on my computer I am keeping up with homework and reading assignments and other school related materials that I don't spend the extra time reading tweets. My experience with some of my previous high school teachers was that within the walls of the school they behaved one way while outside and away from their job they acted differently. If a teacher is going to have a facebook, it should be used appropriately and not have a bunch of "trash" put on it, if they are allowing their students to have full access. Facebook pages, such as yours Dr. Baggett, are great! I love yours, you have a "kid friendly" page. Educators are held to higher standards and are very influential to young adults. Used properly, educational tools such as twitter and facebook are wonderful. But, they can be very damaging when used incorrectly.

Courtney Muse said...

Reading this post was such a coincedence. Just today I was on facebook and searchig for old classmates. I found that some of them have become educators in the mobile school system. I couldn't believe how many inappropriate things they had on their ges. It's amazing to see that they think its perfectly fine to display information like that for everybody including their students and their parents to see. It is ridiculous! I agree with everyone's comments, it's all in the way that social networking is used. If educators used it in the right manner, then parents will see that it could be something positive.