This week I made a big step using Twitter as an educator. I reached out to my district for guidance and support.
As many of you know, my students and I have been using Twitter to keep up with news around the world, interact with other classrooms, and ask/answer questions about our learning. The students are very engaged with it. They don’t have login information of their own, since they’re only in 5th grade. I’ve been running the account by projecting our newsfeed onto the screen at the front of the room and scrolling through as we read and discuss events around the world. We’ve followed kid-friendly news sources; educators and classrooms; and experts in the fields that we’re studying in the curriculum. The students decide what they want us to post or what questions we should ask. I run the controls, but they’re guiding the expedition.
Now that we’ve been using Twitter for over a month, I’m wondering how to make this activity meaningful. So far we’ve communicated with authors, other classrooms, and educators. But I still feel that I’m only scratching the surface of what can be done here. This is why I reached out to my district.
Last year, my 5th graders and I began a blogging adventure. I progressed in this adventure for months and finally the district approached me. They informed me that I had been doing my adventuring without approval and actually against some guidelines. We had a meeting, I showed them my work, they approved me, and I began to train other educators on blogging. However, I realized that I had overlooked the time that I should have looped in my district. Even though it turns out that I was approved and was conducting the blogging safely, I still had jumped the gun.
I’m not looking to make that mistake again. I reached out to the district asking for guidance on how to gain approval and how to safely move forward. This is a big moment because it becomes a turning point. Now, they could guide me forward or tell me that I need to stop blogging entirely. I’m nervous about the results of my communication, but I’ve realized that before I can research or explore Twitter any further, I really need to do it with open communication on all sides.
Updates to come. Let’s see if we can get the ball officially rolling now.