When I was involved in photography I used twitter on and off and over the five years I gained around 2500 followers. I was never convinced of it’s effectiveness, which probably says more about me than Twitter.
Quite early on after I decided to return to teaching I discovered there was a community going by the #cdnedchat which met every Monday evening and discussed all things education. I thought I would sit in and see what it was all about. I have to say initially I was very sceptical that communicating in 140 characters or less would result in anything meaningful being learned. I was wrong! It is moderated by a number of educators, @cdnedchat, @thecandydish, @msvalios, @neurophilomath to name a few (apologies to anyone who should be in this list and isn’t). Each week a specific topic is discussed. There are dozens of people involved and I suspect many more lurking, all who have ideas and thoughts to share often with links to relevant articles. It’s like having a crash course in the topic of the week and provides plenty of food for thought as well as references to research further. As someone coming back into education it’s a pretty amazing resource and one I hope to be able to continue to take part in each week as we head out west.
So it turns out that Twitter, in the right context used correctly can be an amazing tool for learning. I am going to hazard a guess that this is the case for any tech in classrooms. You can’t just throw it in there and hope for great learning outcomes. It needs to be thoughtfully deployed and the learning outcomes planned just like any other area of the curriculum.