Session Title: The Wonders of Twitter for Teachers
Date: Thursday 14th February 2013
“What’s the point of twitter?”
“I haven’t got a smartphone, I can’t use it!”
“Why do I want to follow Stephen Fry and Justin Bieber?”
“I haven’t got time, I’m too busy marking or searching for resources?”
“What do you mean, ‘ask other teachers’?”
[pullquote]Twitter makes me up my game. You see what others are doing and think ‘crikey’![/pullquote]
Ever heard any of the above questions or statements? Ever been the one asking them?
For the uninitiated or unaddicted, Twitter is just another social network for people to lose themselves in; just like Facebook but without the photos of somebody’s dog or precious children. Twitter is so much more than Facebook, so much more than just random people’s streams of consciousness – yes it is that, but it is more.
I signed up my teacher account just over a year ago (with the arrival of my new smartphone) and have been staggered by the help, followers and general networking that I’ve achieved in that time. It was through twitter that I stumbled upon a like-minded educator called Stephen (@mrlockyer) we very soon hit off a bustling bromance and put together an idea called BATTT – Bring A Teacher To Twittter. The principle is very simple, as the twitter bio states: Bring A Teacher To Twitter. It’s simple: invite one of your teacher friends to Twitter, guide them, help them – let them loose.
We set up a twitter account (@batttuk) and a blog and set about trying to engage with teachers, getting them to cajole, interest, bully and tempt fellow colleagues into joining twitter and seeing its impact. I have used it so many times to ask for help, to see if anyone has a wheel so I don’t have to reinvent one myself or to offer help and wheels of my own.
We have been delighted by the success of battt so far; hundreds of people are following @batttuk and are now trying to set up their own versions of battt in their country – see https://batttuk.wordpress.com/fellow-battters/.
Lots of new teachers have been introduced and are actively engaging in twitter and blogging but we need to keep encouraging them, RT their work, introducing them, helping them – in short, doing all the things we said twitter was great for in the first place.
1: Lead them to water.
2: Get them to drink.
3: Get them coming back to the water to drink themselves.
4: Watch with joy as they lead others to water.
This is the basic principle of any evangelising, which is what we’re doing.
Both Steve and I were really impressed with the chat on Valentine’s night and the amount of people sharing their newbies and helping others. We did feel that the sheer volume of tweets and pace on the night was high – too high for a newbie, possibly mind-blowing. That’s why it is so important to keep coming back to any new teachers we have set up, keep encouraging them and making sure that it doesn’t just become another social network or a digital stream of consciousness but something with purpose.
Ross Wickens?@MrWickensPE: @ukedchat @mrlockyer @MrWaldram @batttuk First #ukedchat in ages and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks guys!
@KateBoot: #ukedchat I don’t know where I wld b without tweachers so much CPD, great teachers and ideas, sharing of good practice #alwayslearning
?@MrAColley: #ukedchat Twitter makes me up my game. You see what others are doing and think ‘crikey’!
@ThisIsLiamM: Roses are red, Violets are blue. I’m on Twitter, Why aren’t you? @batttuk #BATTT
About the #battt runners:
Ben Waldram is an assistant head at a junior school in Derby, he loves his job and is in charge of ICT; Y6 transfer & transition and SATs arrangements; CPD; AG&T; children’s camps; Y6 business projects; Investors In Pupils – Jobs; a hundred other things and the Fridge. He has a wife and two (and a half) children and likes tea. He also eats more kebabs than he should
Stephen Lockyer is a Deputy Head in the south of England, is a father of four and adores innovation, creativity and lifelong learning. He is mastering the ancient art of Timetabling, and sees Technology as important, but not as vital as it may at first be seen. He is distinctly smaller than Ben Waldram, and only met him through Twitter. He loves a kebab.