Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Facebook and Twitter in the Classroom

It was fitting that in the week of Twitter’s 5th Birthday the NIedchat community were asking whether or not schools could ignore Social Networking sites for much longer.

It was plainly evident that the vast majority of the teachers who took part in the discussion felt that schools should be trying to utilise the huge potential of social media – probably not surprising since the participants are all avid users of social media – however here was a belief that social networking sites have become uch an integral part of the world we live in now that it does not make sense to exclude them form the classroom.

A number of teachers shared how they were using Twitter.

This idea came from Trevor Connolly. He is using Twitter as part of a literacy initiative. His students are sharing articles they are reading using the hashtag #read1thing (

Trevor has share the instruction document below.

The poll this week threw up some interesting results. Of the participants who responded most stared that their schools do not use Social Networking sites in an official capacity. Also, the poll suggests that teachers would like to use Twitter in the classroom but are less sure about using facebook. You can view the poll results by clicking on the link below.

Selected Tweets

If we're not meeting our students at least halfway in the world they live in, the world they communicate in -then we
may give up. @dmurray742


Schools should have an official FB & TW account because if they don't, students might do it themselves @johnmayo

Other Links

Using Facebook in Education - via @dmchugh675

An alternative to Twitter suggest by @AnGaeilgeoir1 via @mapsman

Teaching with Twitter - via @catherinecronin

Interesting ways to use Twitter in the Classroom

Tweet of the Week

To ignore Twitter & Facebook gives students the impression that what happens in schools does not happen in real life.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

"We are the people we've been waiting for"

There was a celebratory mood in the camp last Wednesday night as we basked in the enduring glow of what was an amazing event - TMBelfast2012. It was obvious from the big turnout in the chat that the TeachMeet the previous Friday had certainly served one of it's purposes, namely to "get the word out there" that we exist!

It's pretty hard to write a blog post about the discussion, I thought it would be better to let a number of the "#niedchatterers" speak for themselves.

On the buzz:

"We are the people we have been waiting for!" @he4therw4t5on

"...because of Twitter it felt like we were in a room with friends despite many of us meeting for the first time" @dmurray742 

On the learning

"I loved meeting others with similar ideas - great shared enthusiasm." @hezmar

"Presenters made it look easy, good ambiance, no competitiveness - really good!" @medv2

"Great to see what's being done elsewhere and get new ideas" @s1taylor1

 "Though the session was fantastic. The enthusiasm you guys have for teaching is inspiring." @jonnyholmes86

The way forward

"We need a poster like "Your Country Needs You!" - get those great teachers out there to come and share the wealth." dwatson802

What was plain to see in the discussion is that TMBelfast has created a real buzz and it is now imperative that the momentum is not wasted Plans are afoot for TMBelfast2 and there were murmurings of TMNorthWest too... more on that at a later date I'm sure. 

A big congrats then to the organizers of TMBelfast - Barry, Amanda, Daithi, Corrine and Heather. Great work guys and judging by the tweets this week it is already having an impact in the classroom.

You can watch all the presentations from TMBelfast here

Tweet of the week

Seriously...could you look past @johnmayo 's comment about the format of TMBelfast? 

The question was asked by @dmurray742 
"What did you think about the 2 and 7 minute presentation slots?"

John's answer:
"The format was like a hockey skirt - long enough to cover everything, short enough to keep interest!"