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Twitter a waste of time?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jhagan99, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Not really a dilemma this, but what does everyone else think about class Twitter profiles? I have never used social media in school before and rather resent that in my new position I am expected to post pictures and news of my class's activities constantly. I really think my time could be better used and am not entirely comfortable that it's something I should be doing. It's not something I've encountered before. Seems like just another exercise in appearing to be doing a great job instead of just getting on with the important things. Is my new school unusual or do I need to get with the times?
    Jamvic likes this.
  2. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

    Depends on the age group in question.

    If it's younger children, it's nice for parents to see what they've been doing during the day. It takes 5 minutes to do it. Good PR win-win (as long as the parents don't mind photos being posted).
  3. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    My school does this. Each class has a twitter week. The parents love it. All photos are taken from an angle where the children can't be identified.
  4. altally

    altally New commenter

    We are expected to do it. I have about 3 parents who follow. Its main purpose seems to be so that the head has something to put in the newsletter! I think posting to Facebook would be much better as more parents use that.
  5. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. I suppose I'd better just grit my teeth. The thing is as a parent of young children myself I don't like the idea of my children being splashed over the internet, and when I receive the letter asking for permission for their pictures to be used in various ways I feel pressured into giving consent. So not all parents think this is a wonderful thing either. Also, not all parents follow twitter. And I have safeguarding concerns. Wouldn't it be very easy for a teacher to slip up and add followers who weren't parents? Two Twitter addresses can look very similar can't they? Maybe that's not the case, but I am new to this and it's worrying me at the moment as I have been told to collect parents' Twitter addresses and add only them, but with poor handwriting etc some are hard to decipher. What if I add wrong address?
    Jamvic and Alice K like this.
  6. altally

    altally New commenter

    Our feeds are public, and we just have to be careful to make sure any children without permission are not posted. I don't think our parents are pressured into it.
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    We use it, mainly for marketing (independent sector). All open so anyone can follow - that’s kind of the point. We got permission from parents, no idea if they felt pressured to consent but I don’t see why they should have, it was just a form to send back not a person standing over them threatening dire consequences if they didn’t. We have a couple who can’t be in pictures, fine, we just put them on the edge of everything and crop them out. Zero educational value, but that’s not the point for us. I don’t find it too much of a hassle as you take the photo on the iPad, upload to Twitter with a short comment - done. Unlike about 5 years ago when I was asked to keep a weekly class blog - now THAT was a hassle. Photos on a camera, find cable, upload to computer, select photos for blog, write essay for blog, write captions for photos etc etc...
  8. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    Bit of a waste of time in my opinion. Hardly the role of a teacher. Could a TA/admin do it?
  9. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    There are about 12 iPads for 350 students
  10. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    From a parents perspective I don't have time to follow the Twitter feeds and wish mini Bedlams school wouldn't do it as I feel like I should be following it.
    I never give consent for my child's photo to be used for anything and I don't feel pressured. I just tick the 'no' box.
    We don't do Twitter at the school I teach at but if we did I wouldn't participate, unless forced to, as its just another task to do and how can it be fitted in? Having said that it's not easy to say 'no' because you are then seen as difficult and that can lead to other things.
    pepper5, Alice K and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    How does it help?

    No way can I see it directly improving learning.

    So what's the point? The parents like it? OK. Still not good enough. It gets parents involved who otherwise wouldn't? Highly unlikely.

    No. I know exactly why I teach the kids what I do and I can tell them. I do tell them.

    By the same token I won't be told what to do without a reason being provided. A reason I can go along with. Otherwise I might just as well sell my labour to the highest bidder and not even pretend to give a damn.
  12. Eflmeister

    Eflmeister Occasional commenter

    Unless it has a learning purpose beyond being simply marketing for the school I wouldn’t do it.
    Alice K likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Actually it's even simpler than it not being worth it or not proved to be useful.


    • Maths. All working diligently on pretty graphs (or something).
    • You're hovering with your 'phone.
    • Aha! Megan, Mark, Milo and Marmaris. You know you have permission to take their pix for Twitter and they're working beautifully.
    • Click.
    • Upload to Twitter.
    • 14:45. "Miss Twibbles has to see you in her office now. I'll cover."
    • What were you thinking? Uploading Mark's photo!!!
    • Er, that's fine. We have permission.
    • Not since last Friday we haven't.
    • Well, nobody told ME his mum had changed her mind!
    • Well, you SHOULD have known. You're his class-teacher! Why are you not checking this stuff every morning like you're supposed to. Checking in with the office for possible updates.
    • They should be telling ME!
    • No. That's what you signed up to when we started our Twitter account.
    • I don't remember.
    • Tough.
    You think you're going to get away with it? Ha.

    OK. Do it but no names and no photos. Bland.
    Alice K and phlogiston like this.
  14. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    I worked at a school where so many tweets a week was supposed to be one of the PD targets for each member of staff. My tweets were retweeted by other accounts at the same school but rarely viewed by anyone else.
    However there was something in school statistics about being the nth best school in the area for number of tweets. My feeling is it's a waste of time and I share the safeguarding concerns. However it did at least ensure that SMT were aware of all the wonderful things we were doing in the dept. They'd have had no idea otherwise.
    Jamvic and Alice K like this.
  15. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Twitter, and big social media in general, seems to me to be making the world demonstrably and rapidly worse. I say bin it. I have, and I couldn't be happier.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Are they providing the 'phone? And paying for your data. And your home internet?

    Not a teaching job.

    It's not teaching.
    Nor is it P or P or A.

    School should be paying someone fresh out of college minimum wage for this. It's not worth a lot more.
    Jamvic, Alice K and phlogiston like this.
  17. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Don't have a smart phone so school would need to provide. Much better to upload to school web site, parents can access pictures there.
    We are constantly telling children about internet safety then schools splash their photos for everyone to see. Personally I don't see the need for it.
    Jamvic, Alice K and grumpydogwoman like this.
  18. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Thanks everyone. I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt like this. It's good to hear different views and to know that not all schools are just big PR machines.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There is a lot of negativity and defeatism on the TES forums every time Twitter is mentioned.
    Maybe that's just generational. How can I know the ages of who's posting though? Perhaps it's just because the view of it being a "waste of time" and "nobody looks anyway" and "ooo, what about safety" are generally views you get in some sort of pre decided "I'm not using Twitter" demographic.
    I'm a big fan of Twitter ergo I can see loads of benefits to this. You could cut out a lot of parental communication this way-just a snappy phrase per week-*this week we are doing bla bla. Parents-get your kids to show you the new way we learn this". You can also use it for reminders-"only two days and counting to our non uniform fund raiser...what will you wear?". And you can post pictures of prize work, just the work, not the child. Or simple reminders-"Parents-do you look at ShowMyHomework? What is your child up to?" The end result of this sort of regular input is that readership will gradually increase,and that children will benefit from the sort of three way communication we normally strive for only by letter or website. The kids benefit; that's what we want surely?

    If you don't know your way around Twitter, there are always colleagues who know better (younger ones, tsk...) who might show you.

    My only major criticism of school Twitter accounts is when the account is for the whole school, as the content can often be way too self promotional. Byt departmental or year group Twitter feeds are an excellent idea. You just have to think so too, and gen up on how to run it effectively, otherwise all your input is going to be flat and not really worth it.

    It takes less than five minutes every week to keep up something regular and useful on Twitter,and yet I've written plenty of letters and bulletin entries which have taken me longer.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  20. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    We use social media all the time at my school for lots of things. We see it as a great way to connect with our community AND with other teachers and classes around the world. Right now we're using Twitter, Flipgrid and Padlet to connect with other classes in the Global Read Aloud project. I think it's a great thing to use but I get that it's not for everyone.

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