(The educator's edition)
Student recruitment: As the ‘story’ of the school is told, stakeholders have real time authentic snippets of life as a learner, of learning experiences, of events, of teaching, and connections made. This gives parents a genuine sense of what it will mean to be part of the school community rather than the ‘sell’ of a website or recruitment pamphlet.
Student to student connection: Parents and teachers also often fail to note that social media is already intrinsically woven into the lives of youths (Pascoe 2012). Pew Research (2011) released a study in which young adults were featured as the most avid texters by a statistically significant margin. Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day (Lenhart, et al. 2010). One of the things we have found at NIST is that students will often find ways to connect online. In the past, they have figured out how to use a google doc to chat, use explain everything to message each other. Kids love to connect and we don’t want to discourage that. However, by encouraging students to connect with each other regarding: current content, images, wonderings, or questions teachers are able to use what they already know about the way students engage and leverage a shared tool (Twitter) to increase time on task.
Teacher recruitment: In the same way the school will pull in potential parents of students by sharing its story, potential teacher hires will have a more comprehensive understanding of what learning looks like at the school.
Student to teacher connection: Having instant feedback is an important part of personalized and individualized learning. Twitter provides the opportunity for teachers to engage students with questions, provocations, feedback and have an equitable forum for discussions.
Teacher/student to home connection: As educators we often hear complaints from parents regarding communication. Twitter enables near real time communication of learning, builds trust via transparency.
Teacher to teacher connection: Networking, building PLN and immediate bite sized professional development is what Twitter is all about. Teachers always need more time but they are also life long learners. Twitter enables teachers to take on bitesized PD, and learn from other educators around the globe!
Teacher to self:
It is a necessary 21st century skill to be digitally literate. Twitter helps to make this learning bite sized and transdisciplinary for teachers who are trying to upskill for social media and becoming globally connected educators.
Class to class connection: Kids love to hear each others' ideas. In fact, some of the coolest student centered inquiries come from kid-centered idea creation. Twitter allows classes to connect across continents to share ideas, thoughts, aspects of their lives, fears, hopes, dreams and actions they have taken. It allows authentic collaboration and learning across cultures which develops international mindedness.
School to school connection: Hey we are stronger together, right? It is pretty cool when universities have already conversed, created and shared ideas with primary, secondary and leadership from your school. Your students skills, knowledge and action can already be known to the likes of Harvard, Yale and Oxford.
Leadership to community connection: Everyone loves feedback. And teachers often don’t get a lot of shout outs for the hard work they do. Twitter provides a public forum for leader to give high fives to faculty and students raising moral and strengthening brand loyalty to the school. Twitter also provides an opportunity for leadership to interact with the larger community of stakeholders.