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Schools Using Twitter

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by School Boy Error, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I've just heard of Police using Twitter to give feedback to the public and it got me thinking about using it for school. Does anyone already do this? Is it possible to stop followers posting on your page? I don't really want negative comments from parents about anything on there.
    Thanks
     
  2. It would appear that you are looking at a piece of technology and asking what you can do with it.
    It's much better to look at what you want to do and asking what piece of technolgy can help you to do that.
    Twitter is useful for dullards who want to waste their time; nothing else.
     
  3. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    The ideal tool would just been using an RSS feed but I'm not sure that this would suit the parents or "dullards" as you put it. However, most of them would be familiar with Twitter. I agree that it's the wrong way round but for it to be useful it needs to be used and I don't think an RSS feed would be whereas I feel there would 'follow' a twitter page.
     
  4. I would say the previous reply is not very helpful. Twitter is very helpful if you want to get short messages out to a large audience quickly - i.e. tell parents its a snow day so they don't crash your school's website. If you think twitter is just for dullards, you haven't seen its full potential.
    Its really up to you how you use twitter, people can send messages to you or mention you by putting @yourusername in their message but your page is not really the same as a facebook wall. The majority of twitter users don't actually use Twitter.com - they use platforms such as Tweetdeck, seesmic or other such software and will most likely only see what you post rather than what others post about you. That said, with any online tech you may find you have an unwanted message (spam happens on twitter too unfortunately) but you can just report it and delete it.
    I'm afraid I'm not in a school that uses twitter yet but there are several out there. I did a two minute search on google and found a couple of schools plus a few interesting links to see how it is used:
    http://www.sibfordschool.net/index.html
    http://www.teachers.tv/ict/twitter
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5559966_school-twitter.html

     
  5. Sorry - I meant reply #2.
     
  6. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Thank you Britmangi that's really helpful. I'm not a Twitter user myself so am really new to this.
     
  7. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I used twitter for over a year and found it to be a waste of my time. However I can see the point of what you are trying to do, but
    That's simply not the case. If you want to disseminate info then your best bet is your own website. After all think about the scenario of a potential snow day. Most people will go to the school website to check or listen to the radio. After all if someone does a hash tag search on twitter say #yourschoolname and finds that there is a tweet that says
    "guess what yourschool is closed today #yourschoolname"
    then it does not mean that you put it out there and no you can't stop that. I know some people like twitter and thats good for them, but it's the wrong place to put out official information about your school.
     
  8. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Sorry are your serioulsy trying to say that a few hundred hits over a period of say an hour is going to bring down a web server - that's nonsense
     
  9. Depends on who hosts your school website and how big your school is but that was a statement out of experience.
     
  10. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    If you had a ddos attack on your site then maybe, but I don't buy that your site sent down due to a few people trying to download a few kb of data over that time period.
     
  11. well that is what happened whether you buy it or not.
     
  12. They need an editing function on here - I posted too soon.
    Its not that uncommon for school websites to be overloaded, I've seen it a few times in different schools over the last couple of years. Its not just a few people accessing a site on a snow day. If you have over 1000 students at a school and the information all the parents need is only on a webpage that they have to refresh every couple of minutes (a page with an overload of graphics that takes ages to load at the best of times) then very quickly you have a crashed site.
    As I said, it depends on the website and the size of school. Some schools have invested in good infrastructure for their websites, others have not. Twitter is a good free way of getting some of that traffic away from your site if the infrastructure isn't behind the website yet.
     
  13. Twitter's great when it's used right. I think your students will find it more useful than your parents, but here are some examples of use-cases (assuming that the feed would be pulled into your website)
    • It's a snow-day and you need to update the website to let students know, but you can't get hold of the person who normally does this. Simply send a text to update your twitter account, and it will show on the site.
    • A school concert is cancelled, so you update twitter and the students "re-tweet" this to their friends to pass the message on.
    • Your Modern Languages department has won an award. You tweet about this to let people know how great your school is.
    • You want to let parents know what's going on in lessons, so on Monday you could tweet "visiting the year 8 science class. They're doing some cool experiments", maybe with a photo of the lab equipment setup.
    The best thing you can do is find a couple of helpful students to get you set up on Twitter. They could as people who find out news and suggest things to tweet about.
     
  14. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Kids don't use twitter and please don't try and convince yourself that they do. They use facebook.
     
  15. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

  16. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Isn't that article American? It is not for the children it is to improve home school communication with parents.
     
  17. I have often thought you could set homework by twitter so that the kids can always access it, parents can see it, and there is a semi permanent record.
    You would tweet out the homework task and then add a hash tagg such as #schoolnameclasssubject
     
  18. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Fair enough, if you want to improve home school communication then fine, but most people don't use twitter. Problem is that people on here do use twitter because of the nature of employment that we are in. However it is dillusional to think that it can in anyway form a sound basis for contacting the majority of parents. Why not run a survey with your kids to find out if their parents use it. Of course the results will be skewed if you run it online, maybe simply tell the kids to find out for homework what the parents want as a school contact portal. I would wager less than 5% would opt for twitter if you get a 100% response from them,
    Does that therefore make it irellevant? Besides some kid on work experience in the UK proved to some major company that kids don't use twitter. I will try and source that now.
     
  19. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

  20. It doesn't matter whether they use it, if it's being pulled in onto the school website, it will make the site more up-to-date and relevant. Unlike Facebook, it's an open system so you don't have to sign up to be able to read the content.
     

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