Twitter’s great. Don’t get me wrong. But things have been afoot for sometime. You see the Twitter that I talk and share about is the best staffroom in the world. It’s a place where whenever you ask a question, someone will come to your help. It’s easy. It’s better than Google because your developed PLN (professional learning network) will have tailor-made responses for you. Even if your PLN cannot come up trumps directly a few retweets from others in your PLN will ensure that your reach expands and you get the help you need.
I love my PLN
I tried this myself last night with the following tweet and as you’ll see from the subsequent responses, my PLN helped.
— Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) August 23, 2017
The flip-side is at the same time as I am able to draw on the help of educators from around the globe as shown in the above example, on my timeline I’m reading conversations about racism in education, some pretty strong language and more ad hominem attack accusations than you can shake a stick at. I’m not going to call out names and share these tweets. As mentioned in my recent warning post about bots on Twitter, there’s more to the platform than the positives I talk about.
Some of the conversations can sometimes be quite feisty. They do (in general) help us with our thinking about education, learning and so much more but the language and some of the topics chosen make me worry. In these increasingly litigious times we should be ever vigilant in what say and what we open our eyes up to when we sign up to and use Twitter. Unfortunately, conversations aren’t age rated and so you can stumble upon allsorts of debates about education and whilst most of what you will stumble upon will be of interest, some elements may lie on the fringes. Be mindful of this.
If you are minded to get into debates on topics, or if someone calls upon you to validify or backup a comment or questions you on something you’ve said then how you react is entirely up to you. I’m probably old fashioned in my views, but I see too many people I really respect use bad language in their conversations and I don’t mean SPaG. For me, this isn’t okay. It doesn’t sit right with me. Now I realise I’m a complete hypocrite in many ways because I swear, of course I do and if you know me you might have heard me swear before too. The difference between me using that language there compared to online is one of audience. Always be mindful of your surroundings. You wouldn’t swear out loud so everyone could hear at a Parent’s Evening. You probably shouldn’t on social media where any parent can find you.
One thing I’ve shared previously is around the acrostic ‘THINK’ when it comes to what you say online. It helps keep me right.
- Is it true?
- Is it helpful?
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
My old student digital leaders even made it in to a little video. Perhaps we should all heed their advice?
So back to Twitter… and it being a good, positive place to be. It really is, just:
- Think carefully about what you say
- Think about what you share and its ownership
- Be mindful of what you can stumble upon
- Refine your PLN if you need to filter or temporarily mute
That said, here are some recent tweets I’ve liked that I think are helpful and reflect the positive aspect of having a great PLN for you to network with:
— LoveToTeach (@87History) August 20, 2017
Lessons we can learn from our mistakes pic.twitter.com/K70I0SJlZf
— Eleni Kyritsis (@misskyritsis) August 21, 2017
— BJL (@B_J_Langley) August 13, 2017
GSearch: finding resources from a single person’s perspective. Twitter resources curated, discussed, & shared by community of educators
— Joe Fahs (@mpondu) August 24, 2017
If anybody can donate anything? Help me with anything? I will run a free Twilight CPD session for you! Thanks so much all. https://t.co/ViH7yAH4sh
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) August 23, 2017
There is lots of good on Twitter. 100%. Just tread carefully.