Helpful and Influential Tweets

I have really enjoyed using Twitter for educational purposes. The tweets that stick out to me are the ones directed towards new teachers. Since I have only just begun my journey of becoming a teacher, I find it helpful to read any tips and suggestions for new teachers. @WeAreTeachers is one of the best accounts I follow, because they have a ton of helpful ideas for all types of teachers.

Just listening to a 2 minute video clip with tips for new teachers opened my mind to a whole trail of ideas. I would recommend all new teachers or student teachers to watch the above video!

Another tweet from @WeAreTeachers about educational platforms for creating online course content. I found this article to be helpful, especially for us #ED554 students who are designing Flipped Classroom lesson plans. It gives a list of different websites and tools to use for designing online course content. Very helpful!

Like I said before, I like to read any advice for new teachers! This article discusses a few Dos and Don’t for early teachers and I found a lot of them very helpful. I enjoyed reading tips in this type of format because it’s easy to refer back to it and think about each one carefully.

I hope you all are finding Twitter to be as helpful as this future teacher is!

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Social Media Connects Us

For my ED554 Technology class, one of our assignments was to create a professional Twitter account (Follow me @MorganGraves37 !) I have been using my personal Twitter for about 4 years now, but I used it mainly to follow my friends and celebrities that I like. I use that account for more of an entertainment purpose and to see what my friends are up to.

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Almost everyone you can think of uses Twitter these days, especially educators! I was talking to my 4th grade elementary school teacher just the other day about twitter and social media and I was fascinated to learn that twitter had become a huge part of their curriculum. The elementary school just created their own account, and they use it to connect with parents and staff. It is a quick way to send out last minute information instantly. For example, the school will send out a tweet if a school event is cancelled due to poor weather. My teacher was also telling me that she uses it to keep her student’s families in the loop. She takes pictures of her students in the classroom or on field trips and tweets them out to her followers. This is a great way to keep parents informed about what exactly their children are doing while at school! I thought this was such a good way to incorporate technology into the classroom.

While browsing my twitter feed, I came across an account @WeAreTeachers that one of my classmates Emma had retweeted. That is the great thing about Twitter–it’s so easy to find new accounts to explore just by scrolling through your feed. We Are Teachers has their own website with fantastic resources for teachers! There are so many helpful tips and links on their website, but one I found particularly interesting was about Fairy Tales. As a future teacher it can be overwhelming to think of all the required lesson planning and on top of that, how to make those lessons creative. We Are Teachers posted an article called “Fairy Tales Gone Wild: 10 Creative Ways to Teach Fairy Tales.” This caught my eye, not necessarily because I have a strong interest in Fairy Tales, almost more for the opposite reason. Sure we have all read the classic fairy tales, but to come up with creative ways to teach them to students seems like a daunting task. Especially since the majority of fairy tales were written many many years ago, it may be hard to relate them to today’s youngest generation.

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We Are Teachers collected tips from teachers from across the country about how the best way to teach fractured fairy tales. They are super helpful, especially for new teachers like myself. They give ideas about how to introduce the lesson, what projects to include, what stories to read, and what discussions to have with students. At the end of the post they also include lists of fractured fairy tale stories to use! This post is just one example of the amazing resources they have for teachers. Without my twitter or blog, I may never have found out about this fantastic resource! I encourage you all to check out weareteachers.com and to follow them @WeAreTeachers on Twitter!

 

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#GenerationLike

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Frontlines “Generation Like” is a very interesting video and was truly eye opening for me. I consider myself very tech-savvy and I use all sorts of social media. However, I was completely unaware of the immense amount of time and thought that teens are putting in to establishing their online profiles. I use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but only to connect with people I actually know or have met in real life. I am wary about what I put on the Internet, because it is truly accessible by anybody around the world. It seems that teens these days were never told to be cautious of what they post, and instead do the opposite. They are now documenting every single part of their lives, whether it is through pictures, videos, or tweets.

Students are being introduced to new technology and social media at such a young age these days that it has become a new way of life. There are so many new terms used by young people surrounding social media, such as hashtag, selfie, tweet, and vlog, just to name a few. These are words that grab young peoples attention and are a part of their daily language. Like the video said, we are apart of a digital revolution that is here to stay. Children and teens are putting themselves out there for the world to see, and are expecting validation and attention in return. The video pointed out that social media gives them a sense of empowerment; it gives them a voice. There are things that could be said face-to-face that might get made fun of, but on the Internet, there is always at least one person that relates to it.

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It is important, that with all this new technology, for educators to try and understand this revolution and use it to their advantage. There are many ways to incorporate the new lingo into the classroom in a way that will enhance learning. Things like “hashtags” are relevant to their way of life, so using it in lessons and exercises can make it so students are engaged and interested to learn.  #learningcanbefun. The video pointed out that social media is all about sharing and collaboration. Kids are helping kids succeed all around the world. This can be used in the classroom as well. Similar to what we are doing in this 554 Tech class with our blogs, children can be using similar tactics. By following and sharing our classmate’s posts, we’re helping to expand their network. There are definitely ways of incorporating similar methods into the classrooms of children and teens.

“Generation Like” really gave us an inside look of the minds of the current teens around the world. We may not know what the next big thing is going to be, but we can fully believe that social media is not going anywhere. If anything, it will only keep getting bigger. As educators it is important to understand what and whom our students are interacting with in order to provide them with the best possible education. If we refuse to change our ways, then we are doing nothing but hindering the success of a brilliant generation.

I encourage all of you to check out Generation Like here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/