Teachers on Twitter

Social media is making a splash in the learning community

Ms.+Daluga%27s+sophomore+English+class+caught+the+attention+of+Markus+Zusak%2C+author+of+the+%22Book+Thief.%22

Ms. Daluga

Ms. Daluga's sophomore English class caught the attention of Markus Zusak, author of the "Book Thief."

Grace May, Reporter

Social media has taken over. The grandmothers of the world now have an outlet to ‘like’ every single Facebook post in sight as well as comment on how adorable and old their grandchildren have gotten. Cousin Jim in Georgia and Aunt Suzy all the way up in Alaska can see that embarrassing picture of you from seventh grade in the matter of minutes. It’s possible to tweet at the Pope, the President, and even the principal. Social media has reached every end of the world, and now it’s making its way into the classroom.

It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t have any social media accounts. “Originally, students convinced me to sign up,” said Señor Schwab, but some teachers made accounts even before students discovered the popularity. “I signed up in 2007 because I’m online a lot and if something is new and hip and happening, I’m on it,” said Ms. Coughlin, “It’s a great place to find articles about education and technology and random facts about, like, Ghostbusters.”

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are more than just outlets to share funny cat videos. Now that so many people have accounts, they have become hubs of knowledge for teachers to share ideas. “Twitter, especially, provides a place to share articles; it’s become an aggregate of information,” said Mr. Franklin. Social media has allowed for teachers to easily connect with other professionals in their trade as well. “I’m collaborating with a Spanish teacher in Texas over Twitter on a project called shadowing,” said Señor Schwab, “it’s become a very easy way to share resources.”

In the classroom, educators have started to use social media to get kids excited about learning. Teachers have taken advantage of the fact that so many students are already comfortable with Twitter. “I can post links to videos and articles about productivity and developing study skills,” said Señor Schwab. Because of its familiarity with kids, it was a simple decision for teachers to incorporate Twitter into their lessons.

Society is becoming more and more ‘24 hours’. We need to be looking at and reading stuff all the time to keep up.”

— Mr. Franklin

Mr. Franklin, on the other hand, has worked with Ms. Smogor to set up a hashtag during political debates so she can have live conversations with her students. Ms. Daluga was able to catch the attention of the author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, over Twitter with a picture from her sophomore English class on Twitter. With more and more teachers getting online, social media has become an effective way to motivate students in the classroom. “When we do in class projects, I tweet out the best ones,” said Mr. Clark.

Now that schools around the country are integrating technology into their lesson plans, it makes sense for social media to be a part of the transition. “Society is becoming more and more ‘24 hours’,” said Mr. Franklin, “we need to be looking at and reading stuff all the time to keep up.” To keep up with times, it has become somewhat of a necessity for teachers to get on Twitter to share more than just their vacation photos. In years to come, pulling up your teacher’s Facebook or Twitter page may be almost as common as opening up your text book.