I’m going to say some things and many people reading aren’t going to like it.
But you know what? It’s fine. I can handle with dissent and am happy to debate. This blog is for me to consider my thoughts about issues largely related to my practice and evolve. These issues have been floating around in my head for a while so here goes.
Twitter can be a bit of a mirror. Ppl look at it and see themselves. Many of us follow people that we like and agree with and forget that there is a wider world where ppl may not think these things. So now I’m going to be a slightly heretical.
Most talk about Twitter from an educators point of view focus on the positives ( of which admittedly there are many). If there are negatives mentioned its more to do with issues related to courtesy and rudeness of Tweeters rather than anything else.
I’d like to suggest that perhaps many of the things that we speak about as positives could at times be negatives.
Like minded professionals –By its very nature Twitter is self selecting, people are likely to be similar in some respects. It takes a certain type of person to comment about work issues in their personal time ( as many teachers on Twitter do). Dissent is surprisingly rare ( unless it’s against the Government) and when it comes sometimes people can be unfairly jumped upon or maybe just ignored just for expressing a view slightly different. Teachers on Twitter can forget that not everybody in schools are like us but hey that’s ok too.
CPD whenever you want it –I have been wondering whether Twitter encourages workaholism and further skews that work life balance that many educators say we want but then seek to actively destroy and ignore at seemingly every opportunity. I had an interesting discussion with somebody at work a few month ago a statement that they said has stayed with me ” Every single day get into work at half past 7 and often stay until gone 6, on top of that I still have other things to do and there is always more. I know that you get a lot out of Twitter but the last thing I want to do is go home and talk about work and education in my personal time.” The person I was talking to works hard and is a good teacher and do you know what, maybe she had a point.
Latest educational trends-In the educational world as with other areas of life these days, it seems that many things occur first on Twitter and the wider blogosphere. It’s immediacy is part of the pull but it can also create a group speak, cultish effect at times. When I first became aware of Twitter many hashtags were about #SOLO now it seems to have moved on to #marginalgains ( of which more in a later post) there are great things about both of these but equally there may well be things that some educators feel don’t add any value.
In closing Twitter can be an excellent tool but let’s be balanced about things and realise that every ying has its yang- we need to be critical in our appraisal of things just as we ought to be encouraging those that we educate on a daily basis to be.
In the spirit of this I’m going to mention some Twitter contrarians who can always be relied on to disagree with something but who still want the best for students- @ethinking, @TheBullacademy. I’d give you more but maybe you should find your own or else we’ll all be having the same contrary voices which is against the whole spirit of this post.