No, I am not referring to bad 90’s lyrics sung by a questionable pop star. What I am referring to is how I so often find my perspectives shifting as I delve further in the worlds of technology and education. Previously, in a blog I posted in September reviewing the pros and cons of various technology tools, I vehemently wrote of my displeasure with Twitter. (To use or not to use…) At the time, I did not find value in the character limiting, yet widespread, phenomenon. In hindsight, I believe the problem was not the tool, but the implementation. A class assignment dictated we carry on an education discussion utilizing only Twitter and a predetermined hashtag. I found it limiting in a world where discussion boards and blogs allow people to discuss concepts in greater depth and with proper grammar are widely available. I have recently been reintroduced to Twitter, but as a recipient of news of interest and quick updates. Quickly, my opinion changed. It is akin to the headlines reel and suits my needs in this busy world. I am able to spot topics of interest for which I then link to more information. Simultaneously, I updated to include my @MrsLackner twitter account as I can see it being such a wonderful tool for shooting quick reminders and tidbits of interest to followers such as students, parents, and colleagues.
As for my recommendations for use, I still believe that teachers should have a personal account and a teacher account. This is not just to protect their careers, although that is important. It also protects teachers’ family, friends, and personal interests from the “teacher world.” Our families and friends live our open houses, grading period, and new school year stresses. They likely do not want our retweets about the state of the education union as well. Hence, my new @MrsLackner. My other recommendation, if you aren’t already on Twitter, set up a personal account first. Try using it in various ways. Also, Twitter for Dummies can not hurt to help you navigate the waters. Then decide how it can work best for you. As always, technology tools are tremendously useful in supporting your teaching, but that is only if you do not find them a burden and with them you are producing useful content.