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Twitter Rules

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by anon2222, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. I intend using Twitter next term with my classes. Twitter rules:
    1. You can use your mobile device in class providing you respond to my tweets appropriately, including:
    homeworks set ("hwk for <>, for <>, ref <>, see attachment)
    note: parents can follow my tweets too.
    2. I will not personally tweet pupils/students
    3. Pupils/ students/ parents can tweet me for info re. classwork homework dates questions but I may not respond, but other followers may
    4. Particular schoolwork question tweets should be accompanied by a unique #hashtag so that a thread of Q&A can be followed
    5. As I will be using my mobile device in class for teaching purposes I may use it to tweet examples of pupils' work, which will be tweeted semi-anonymously
    6. As I will be using my mobile device in class, I can quickly take audio or pictures, and tweet them for teaching and learning purposes
    7. Abuse may revoke rights to use of individual's mobile device in class

    Comments please.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You are creating a rod for your own back. Good luck but it may all end in tears with your resignation.
  3. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    3. If you may or may not respond, they're not going to ask questions. Remember all these tweets will appear in a long list of maybe 500 other people they're following so they will get lost in the noise. They may not see any important tweets you send if they don't check regularly enough.

    2. If you never tweet individuals then you are broadcasting, not interacting.

    5. You should never post things about students that are even semi-identifiable. If I say "My Year 10 class blah blah blah" then a lot of people know exactly who I'm tweeting about.

    6. You should never take pictures of students with your mobile, or record audio. The latest child protection advice we have received is that images should only be on school devices (e.g. digital camera from the office) and deleted as soon as possible. I asked for clarification and a school trip abroad would be an exception, as long as photos were put onto the school server on the trip's return and then deleted from the phone.

    1. You can't do attachments. And if they don't know if you're going to respond, or if you don't know they're going to see it, what kind of content is going to be useful?

    And what Karvol said.
  4. Guish

    Guish New commenter

    It's better that you don't involve the school in it at all unless they clearly inderstand what you want to do and they agree with you. Usually, the management of the school is afraid that something internal may go public and affect the image of the school. When I set up my Maths forum( 1 year ago), I got a lot of resistance from the management as they were afraid how rival schools would may benefit from the site, how parents will look at it and whether the marketing of the school will be affected. BTW, I work in a private International secondary school. Finally, I run the site and the school's name is not attached to the site. My senior students made videos of me teaching and uploaded on the site. We have our online markbooks,e books, chatbox, personal messaging and resources for every year. It's an independent site run by me and administrated y a few senior students and students of my school use it.We have hits from over 25 countries worldwide. I don't mention the school and visitors don't know which school I work with. It's a win-win situation. Pm me if you want more details or if you want to use the interface.

    Site name
  5. If they are in class, why don't they just talk to you?
    This idea reminds me of the quote by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: "A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a
    consultant starts by offering a "solution" and creates a problem."
    What problem are you trying to solve?
  6. Naive at best.
  7. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    I think that's it's a good idea, but there are a whole load of problems to sort out, and the scale of these prevents the good idea from happening.

    1. I wouldn't want any pupil using their phone in a lesson. They are distracting enough the rest of the time!

    Having a forum where pupils can ask questions outside of school time is a great idea. The Student Room? But what if you don't reply?

    Too many problems!
  8. Thanks for the comments, I will try to respond.
    a. problem I'm trying to solve: I'm trying to increase learner engagement
    b. yes, agree that learners receiving a reponse is important, but may be better coming from a peer rather than myself - I would choose not to respond depending on question and circumstances: e.g. to discuss later in class
    c. it is inappropriate IMO to instigate a personal tweet (interaction would normally take place in the classroom)
    d. 500 others they follow: this means that this is a means of communiction that they are definitely interested in, therefore something that is worth considering adopting
    e. semi-identifiable (definitely no learner pics or audio), but consideration of work done that may be a good example (e.g. photograph of question in jotter) or recording of myself reiterating a point raised in class (for subsequent reference)
    f. as I work with college students, they may be in an appropriate position to authorise use of pics/ audio - Management in college would also need to be comfortable that practice meets policies
    g. attachments are possible (i.e. single photo or brief audio recording).
    As for a rod for my own back, being naive, distractions: points taken, but quoting another few cliches "nothing ventured nothing gained", and "where there's a will". What about the parental aspect? Would they be comfortable with knowing what their son or daughter's class are doing or supposed to be doing?
    It's only July so I can still be dissuaded...:)
  9. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    Out of interest, why do you see twitter as more useful than a blog or a facebook group?
    I'm no twitter expert, I use it only to follow news stories BUT
    - I don't see it protects privacy any better than a public blog (worse, in that with a blog you can choose to moderate comments ) or a Facebook group, where privacy settings can be easily applied

    - Given the way most of my students use twitter, the vast numbers of people they follow, there's a low chance that they'd notice any of my tweets.
  10. Blah, blah, blah... An interesting idea comes along and all the cynics proclaim what a disaster it will be! Why am I not surprised?
    I have read a great article on a school in the US (New York? maybe a school sponsored by Microsoft?) where one of the history teachers used twitter to generate discussions during the lesson. They all used the same hashtag so the discussion could be projected on the board. I thought about trying a similar plan at my current school, but twitter is not accessible on our network.
  11. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    What is the advantage of a twitter disussion projected on the board over a real discussion in class?
    Is it simply that it can be saved and/or printed? Is it for the benefit of the 'visual' kids? Does it promote participation from those who are too shy to speak in class? Promote participation for novelty value?
    Not knocking, just curious.
    Incidentally, is there any problem with those students who don't have smart phones?
  12. Twitter versus blog: there is a higher likelihood of regarding tweets than choosing to view a blog (Pupil A "did you check out Mr Watts blog?" - Pupil B "lol"; Pupil A "Noticed Mr Watt has homework exercise" - Pupil B "I dont read his tweets")

    Twitter versus facebook: Pupil A "Haven't been on facebook for days now" - Pupil B "email through via twitter about homework to do"

    I see Twitter as the medium of the moment, there is always opportunity for abuse, but if I broadcast info then someone's getting it - I haven't considered it primarily as a discussion tool, but mainly for broadcasting immediate information. Pupils live in the moment, and gentle and frequent reminders may be the way to go...
  13. A lot of people will think this is a good idea, because it's "innovative". They may be right, but I completely disagree.
    In my experience mobile phones and social networking are the single worst thing to have a negative impact on the current generation we teach. They are addicted to them, they are destroying their social skills and providing a huge distraction in schools as it is. In the right context, they are useful and believe me, I love my own smartphone and love using Twitter personally, but no way would I use it in the way you suggested, for three key reasons:
    1. I don't think it will increase learning. At best it is a gimmick and at worst (and in my opinion more likely) it will decrease the learning taking place. I'm amazed you would trust students to use their phones in lessons; I have worked in one of the best schools in the country for behaviour and outcomes, and I am still aware that children are children and some will use it in the wrong way and be a distraction. It will only work if it's used properly. Getting students to use e-mail and MyMaths is difficult enough, let alone Twitter. Good question posed so far is: what problem are you trying to solve?
    2. I believe social networking has no place in the classroom. I also believe our students have an overexposure to technology that is adversely affecting them. I believe the classroom should be a sanctuary from this technology. That said, I think using PCs to investigate/explore/practise skills etc is fantastic, but mobile devices are bad! What about students who don't have smartphones and can't use Twitter? What about ones who don't want to have a Twitter account? Are you going to force them?
    3. Your professional integrity will be put at huge risk. In this day and age, child protection is a serious issue and while precautions can go too far, it is also not sensible to do certain things. I don't think it is appropriate for you to use your personal phone in order to communicate with students. I just think it's wrong, and it will blur the lines between personal and professional. What happens when one of them tweets you something inappropriate? Will you have the courage to deal with it in the right way? Best to be avoided altogether, in my opinion. It will blur the lines also in that you'll see their personal tweets, unless they all create separate accounts, but then what would be the point of that, as the point is surely to integrate it into their social feeds?
    Also, the argument that "this is how the kids communicate now" is concerning to me. Just because they aren't great at remembering things or keeping organised, doesn't mean we give up on them and spoon-feed them. They need to be taught skills for life, and relying on Twitter to give them all the information they need is doing them a disservice.
    I'm sorry but I think this is a really bad idea. I think you should seek advice from your department/senior management before proceeding. I also think you need to research whether this will increase the quality of learning, because I really doubt it will. And no, I'm not a stuffy old-fashioned teacher, I do lots of practicial, innovative tasks with students including using technology, but I don't feel what you've suggested is appropriate, I'm sorry.
  14. I find this quite offensive. Just because a professional might make a very reasoned judgement that something is likely to be a disaster, does not mean they are cynical.
    Technology can be a very powerful force for learning. But I have seen SUCH abuse of technology that it actually makes me feel a bit sick. What I'm referring to are the many, many, many problems created by social networking, internet, technology overload, 'innovative' schemes like iPads in classrooms etc.
    Just because something is 'new' or 'interesting' doesn't mean it improves education or is good for our students, and that should be our primary concern. I've seen firsthand too many teachers introduce pet projects that they like but don't actually give any benefit to students.
  15. So, is this the best way to solve the problem?
    In the classroom, adding this layer of technology, with all its potentials for distraction, would seem to me to be counter-productive. The time and effort spent would be more profitably directed at the content of lessons, finding and working with engaging tasks.
    Perhaps the IT would work better with homework, maybe along the flipped classroom model: set a self-learning task, encourage pupils to make comments (via blog, twitter etc.) which can then be used in a follow-up lesson.
  16. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Because you are probably wet behind the ears and naive?
    More seriously, we did not say it will be a disaster, we merely pointed out that there is a large possibility that it will all go pear shaped.
    Some of us also wished the OP the best of luck.
    You might want to pay attention to the details.
  17. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    How about a discussion/area/blog that pupils can email if they want?

    I believe that Fronter and Moodle are possible alternatives to twitter in this regard, if you want students to email/discuss things.

    Even so you would need to be checking it carefully all the time! What if Johnny writes an offensive comment at 4pm and you don't check until 9pm? Every other pupil that logs on, and their parent, will be able to see what they have written. What if you check at 9pm , sort things out, and then someone posts at 10.30 that they are stuck and gets no replies?

    And to the poster who said we are all cynical because it is a new idea? I've used Flip cameras in lessons to record 5minute revision clips designed and performed by pupils, then posted these to school secure website. I've used a class set of Nintendo Brain Trainers to give them as starter activity.(and come to think of it they had messaging features).
    So am I cynical or just critical? Of this particular idea,yes. The OP wanted comments. I have given my view. Possibly in light of my concerns the OP will be forewarned and therefore be able to anticipate/avoid the problem. I would just avoid it. I'd rather have a class discussion (which is hard enough to referee already) where I can still direct and guide the conversation. I enjoy watching Question Time on the BBC, which also has a Twitter feed but I found that very difficult to follow (occasionally).
  18. Thanks for the views, fore and against. A couple of years ago I was in a similar frame of mind as most following the thread, regarding the use of mobile phones and social media in schools (i.e. most definitely against it).
    I now work in a college environment and I see a "slightly" more mature side to students, especially in use of technology. Colleagues of mine have been successfully using faceBook, being able to adjust settings to avoid seeing the negative side of social networking (from a professional's context). They have had significant success with this, however I am still hesitant at using faceBook, due to its bad press and the way it is used by the masses.
    I have seen many initiatives or examples of Virtual Learning Environments, from Glow in Scotland, to our own college VLE, however the problem here is that its use is minimal - because the norm is to use mass social media systems. This is possibly because they are not restricted or monitored, and that is where the problem arises.
    To engage pupils with their education so that they want to work with it in and out of the classroom - to become active learners - one tool to use is social networking and technology (which they like using). The bridge is where to find boundaries and protection for the individual (professional or child) when using unmonitored and unrestricted systems.
    I was thinking that Twitter may be an effective way of reminding pupils about homework and important aspects of their learning while it is still current. I am still not convinced it is not a tool to use - but need to be clear about applying its use before I set out. Any negative anecdotes regarding Twitter may be helpful, although disheartening.
  19. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    We use Moodle and have a course for every year group, but Alex, re homework, I use a (WordPress) blog, where my students know they can see details of their current homework and when it is due in (140 characters would not be enough!). I do tell them in class of course but it means that anyone who was away can still see what the homework is. None of my students can claim they don't know what the current homework is!
    Re Twitter, I'm a fan but that is after time invested in cutting out the fluff and nonsense! For communicating with students I'd rather use Moodle / my homework blog.
  20. Alex,
    Thanks for coming back and updating and taking our responses in the way you have. I think your college setting is a significant difference to my own experiences in 11-18 schools, where I just can't envisage using social networking in a positive way to engage students, but your students may well be different and I think we'd all love to hear feedback if you go ahead with the idea.
    This reminds me of the 'Great MyMaths Homework Debate' that has been had on this forum and in my schools before. Our Year 7s tend to like using MyMaths but this enthusiasm declines over time. Quite often I've heard teachers saying "my class/students don't like using MyMaths" but when it's been investigated further, it's just that they don't like having to do homework full stop, it's rarely the actual MyMaths platform they dislike. One thing I would suggest is that just because they like using social networking platforms to network socially, doesn't mean they will enjoy using them academically. Again,if you try it some feedback would be great.
    Also one more thing: why are you capitalising the 'B' on 'facebook'?! Has it been taken over by Apple?!?!?

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