People in the educational world often look funny at you when you say you use Twitter. “You? A professional, as in, OLD, as in, not a hipster?”, the look says. Well, as a teacher I have always been on the lookout for materials from the real world that connect to the topics we are dealing with in class. The internet and search engines have become a priceless tool for me.
In the few years I have been using Twitter I have slowly realised, to my delight, that others are on the same errand and are willing to share. I now scroll through my timeline, favourite and/or RT the interesting tweets/links, and return to them later. I can send the links and resources straight to Edmodo, the VLE I use with my students. Research time reduced, research ‘reach’ increased. And all on a phone. In my pocket. It is magic. Take this morning as an example…
Thank you @markcahill for the Google Sheets / delayed emails mash up, and the link to the 3,200 year old tree – my current 5th Yr Biology topic of Plant Anatomy is not of itself riveting, but that link is going to liven it up no end tomorrow morning.
Thank you @digitalmaverick for RT-ing the article with maps and data explaining the history of the Russia-Ukraine area. It will help me get my head around in and enable some reasoned debate.
Thank you @markcurrancavan for the link to the RTE report on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea – it reminded me that although the study of Viruses is not on my Biology students’ syllabus until early next school year, I have been planning to take a ‘time out’ to explain the viral life cycle this term. This link will be the starting point.
Thank you @susanmccarthy for RT-ing a reminder (with the link) that Tim Berners-Lee is streaming live today, speaking on the 30th Anniversary of the WWW.
Thank you @russelltarr for the link to the recordings of Sylvia Plath reading her own poems. Some of the students in a study group I supervise will now listen to these on Friday morning.
Thank you @m2thefizzle for RT-ing a link to an amazing picture, via @russelltarr, of 29 of the world’s most famous scientists of their (or any) time, taken at a conference in 1927. Marie Curie is among them, Mary, so it is one up for us girls! A perfect introduction to the topic of The Atom, which is next week’s work with my younger science students.
Thank you @eibhlin71 for RT-ing the @CASuicide picture with the saying “it’s ok not to feel ok, and absolutely ok to ask for help”. Working in a school, this topic is a very important part of our Pastoral Care curriculum, and the more ideas shared among the educational community the better.
Thank you @domaho for the Twitter picture idea from you and your students in Portmarnock Community School. I shall be ‘borrowing’ that idea, and declare here an ‘iou’ to you, Donal & Co!
Thank you @speediecelt for the picture of @rosenidhubhda at @coderdojo in Galway – a reminder to get ready for our own next session in Cavan (and to prepare for CS class tomorrow – second year will be programming their own Flappy Birds game!)
That’s just one Sunday morning’s catch. New skills, new ideas, new sources and resources, all made available to me, and through me to my students. Some of those contributors are teachers, some are not. Some know me, some don’t. By the end of this week, and on into this term, they have all contributed (directly or indirectly) to the teaching and learning in my classrooms.
(And that’s just from my “favourites” timeline – don’t get me started on the riches in the #edchatie timeline.)
So thank you to all my PLN colleagues, my army of researchers. I sow very little in comparison to what I reap; but if each adds one idea, and we share them onwards, we all benefit greatly.
mmm…just as a I am saving this post I see a tweet/retweet from @ruselltarr entitled “31 Signs You’ve Been A Teacher Too Long”…I might skip that one for now Russell, thanks!