I have been on twitter as @redgierob since the 16th of May 2011 and I consider myself a fully-fledged ‘edutweeter’ with over 66,000 tweets to my name.
Recently ‘edutwitter’ seems to have become increasingly embittered although predominantly there is some amazing sharing and support going on. (There may be a list of fabulous edutweeters to come in another blog!)
I thought I would share some advice about how to go about twitter which you can follow or choose to ignore if you want. Sometimes I need to remind myself of these rules too!
Get rid of your egg!
An egg can make you look like you have a fake account or are in transit from one account to another. Choose whether you’re going to be yourself or use an alias but decide quickly and then get tweeting.
Twitter is first and foremost a social platform so try to be social. If this means you are the quiet one at the party watching from the side-lines, then that is fine and if you are the gregarious one dancing in the middle of the lounge arms flailing wildly remember that the quiet ones are there trying to have a quiet conversation too. I have met people and made very dear friends through twitter and it is always great meeting people, who you have only ever chatted with through twitter, for the first time.
Don’t Judge Publicly! (One I sometimes struggle with too)
Teachers love to share a range of things their accomplishments, their passions, their worries and their questions. If a teacher shares a piece of work, a lesson plan or a simple idea then it doesn’t give you the right to judge it unless they ask you directly for an opinion. Imagine you saw a couple of people trying on clothes in your local fashion hotspot and one asks the other, ‘How do I look?’ you wouldn’t wander over and tell her that it doesn’t suit, makes her look older than she is and actually went out of fashion several months ago. You certainly wouldn’t call your friend over and repeat it to them and hopefully you wouldn’t pull your phone out of your pocket, snap a pic and send it to your friend to judge too.
Pretend it is real life! (Don’t be a keyboard warrior)
Speak to people with the grace and courteousness that you would in real life. If someone asks to retire from a conversation, then allow them to. Delete or untag people from specific threads if it is requested. Declining the offer is tantamount to chasing them down the street and shouting your argument in their face whilst they try to walk away.
Don’t quote tweet selected tweets from a thread out of context in order to prove a point. It is very rude. Refer to the last rule – would you do this in real life?
Don’t tag people using their twitter handle (@______) into posts to garner support for a cause or an argument without first asking them. Either address the tweet to them publicly asking for their support; ask permission in a separate thread or use a relevant hashtag.
Letting off steam about school?
Want to rant about your own school? Twitter is probably not the best place to do it. Remember your SLT can easily see your tweets or someone else could share your tweets with them as it is an open forum – unless you protect your tweets which defeats the object of twitter really. If you need a rant – gather some good friends that you can trust and create a private group chat!
I welcome your comments always!
Rob from Literacy Shed