So despite being a tech-friendly individual, I decided to consider the position of why, as a teacher, I would NOT use Twitter in my classroom. For another opposing view, head over to Amira’s blog. For a pro-Twitter point of view, you can read Fadzai’s blog.
First off, I will start by saying that to emphasize my 6 points, I have made them all 140 characters or less. I figure that if I cannot make a strong enough argument with this restriction, perhaps that will also support my position:
- Twitter reinforces bad grammar and spelling habits. They R vital 2 learn, & if Ss R trying to be brief, these skills go out the window.
- Face to face time is essential for Ss to learn communication, eye contact/body lang & conflict res. Offline skills impact online skills.
- Distractibility & multitasking are on the rise. Many Ss are unable to single task. Teaching singular focus is critical to productivity.
- Twitter can be hard to follow. Ss with different learning styles may find it frustrating or difficult.
- Some Ss may find Twitter is a popularity contest; focus on likes, retweets and replies. Can create divides, exclusion, or bullying of Ss.
- My 14 yo says Twitter (like Facebook) is old news. She doesn’t tweet. She uses Instagram, Snapchat, etc. So why force this tech on Ss?
So there you have it. While I am pro-technology, I am really thinking deeply about what makes a technology both relevant and purposeful. Surely the tech world is changing daily and there are bigger and brighter apps than Twitter on the horizon. If students are not using Twitter themselves anymore, why use it in the classroom?
The tech we introduce in the classroom cannot simply be an app we like, or “the flavour of the month”. This cannot be reason enough to use it. As a teacher, I wonder if there are other apps, or (gasp!) manipulatives, experiments and games that are better suited and engaging for teaching students. So while I started out this assignment as a Twitter supporter playing devil’s advocate, I actually have convinced myself that there are many other resources I prefer over Twitter. As much as I like it personally and professionally, my students’ learning needs must be at the centre of my teaching.
I look forward to reading my classmates’ responses to this blog. If you have any apps, games, experiments, or manipulatives that you wouldn’t teach without, please share them below!