The use of Twitter has both pros and cons. As a person who enjoys Twitter as both a resource and communicative tool I think it is beneficial for students to learn how it can be used in a productive and meaningful way.
On a personal level I frequently enjoy taking part in #saskedchat on Thursday nights. From these chats I have found that I gain insightful knowledge in the classroom and teacher-student relationships but I have also gained multiple great resources from the different discussions.
#saskedchat is done in a format where the moderator poses questions (Q1, Q2, etc.) for each person who responds they answer with A1, A2 respectively. During the hour long chat (8pm-9pm), you will have side conversations with other participants of the chat, either about your answers or about other ideas you have, in some cases the conversations digress into having nothing to do with education, we seem to make a lot of movie references, in particular Star Wars. During the chat you can also like (clicking on the <3), or retweeting something that you agree with (the two arrows that appear to be making a box), you can also quote a tweet by using the same button. I usually quote a tweet if I want to elaborate to what the original tweeter said, and since there is a limit of a 140 word count, adding to someone else’s tweet would enhance the meaning. There is also the option to reply directly to someone else’s tweet to create a discussion. Once the chat is coming to an end, the moderator will ask what your take away (TA) is from the discussion. At the end of the chat you will notice that your followers have increased, remember to follow others as well. Two important things to remember, (1) don’t be mean or insulting to anyone, one day you will be trying to get a job and you never know who will be at the school. (2) USE THE HASHTAG #SASKEDCHAT OTHERWISE IT DOES NOT SHOW UP IN THE CHAT. #saskedchat is my favorite way to interact with others on Twitter, however it is not the only way.
I find lots of different articles and other sources of information from the variety of academics that I follow on Twitter, but I also get many classroom ideas from different teachers in the classroom.
I plan on using Twitter in my classroom, but not for the sake of using technology. I believe that using technology only for the sake of using technology allows for students to abuse their access to different devices. If students are taught meaningful and productive ways to incorporate technology into their learning and classroom activities than they can truly consider themselves digital citizens.
At the first STF fall council I attended in 2014, one of the presenters talked about how teachers need to advocate for themselves better. One of the ways I believe this can be done is by showing the public what we do on a daily basis. When the public can follow a classroom Twitter account which shows the students learning growth than they can actually understand the work we do. This will allow us to be better advocates for ourselves and the teaching profession. The more public our progress is, the more public support we can get and Twitter is the perfect medium to allow this to happen.