Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Value of Twitter

Today is our first 'twitterversary': one year ago the sccenglish Twitter account was set up (you can also link to it at the top of the right column, and under the Twitter tab above. Tweet-URLs are also automatically saved into our Delicious account).

At the time of writing, we have 980 followers, and are following 545 accounts. Here are some thoughts on the value of Twitter, and the experience of a year's use, for a Department such as us (in no particular order). The links are often to Twitter friends who we've connected with.
  1. Connections with other English Departments and teachers all over the world (especially the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand), including many from the astonishing English Companion Ning, a gathering of almost 25,000 English teachers.
  2. Ditto connections with teachers and educators... and plenty of other countries too (recently, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Germany).
  3. Discovering through these people all sorts of ideas and tools (recently- QR codes, the uses of visualisers/document cameras, the Audioboo app, using Google Docs for pupil essays).
  4. Connecting with people in the Irish education world who use Twitter (so far a smallish number), in different sectors as well as the post-primary one, including primary teachers, parents, third-level educators and other educational professionals.
  5. Sharing in the extraordinary sense of goodwill and co-operation educators have in the online world (there's none of the aggressive rudeness or harsh criticism that some people complain about in other online arenas).
  6. Discovering new books and new authors.
  7. Conversations with people in the literary world - bloggers, bookshops, journalists, reviewers.
  8. Lots of material for use in class- links to essays, arguments, fiction, journalism, poetry, biography...
  9. Lots of 'thought-food' for reflection (such as this yesterday on the effects of metaphor on our brains). No better way to stop yourself being complacent as a teacher.
  10. Cross-curricular conversations and resources, such as with our scientific friends on The Frog Blog or art ideas from the National Gallery.
  11. A huge increase in attention to our own blog, with some resources being noted and passed on around the world, such as our Shakespeare Wordles, Hamlet slideshow and summer reading list.
  12. Following from afar exciting conferences, and being able to access their resources, such as Google Teacher academy meetings, this week's National Council of Teachers of English centenary Convention in Orlando, Florida, the English Teachers' Association of New South Wales conference.
  13. [and the points from now on are being added post-anniversary...] We're setting up an occasional newsletter, and are getting plenty of subscribers via tweeting. Happy to see you join...
  14. May 2011: two particular hashtags that are particularly interesting for this blog are the Irish education one #edchatie, set up by @fboss, and the international #engchat, set up by @mrami2 (see the archive here). [Hashtags are ways of following topics and themes].


Simon Lewis said...

Great article - thanks for the mention.

SCC English Department said...

Thanks, Simon - you're welcome!

Mrs C said...

I love following your work and am really looking forward to being back in a classroom myself very soon....
there are just so many possibilities around English and e-learning.

From one of those teachers here in NZ

SCC English Department said...

Thanks for your kind comments: great to hear from an English teacher on the other side of the world...