Social media has a rather frivolous reputation, full of idle entertainment chit-chat and for old school friends to hook up with each other after years of no contact.
However, Twitter in particular is gradually gaining in popularity as a wonderful source of information for professionals, teachers included. But if you haven’t delved into social media before, knowing where to get started on Twitter can seem like quite a daunting task. Here’s a guide to five of the best Twitter accounts for teachers to get you started.
Written by teachers for teachers, @TeachHub is an eclectic blend of chat, news, ideas and humour.Teachers can access unlimited free lesson ideas to help pep up their classroom. Recent Tweets in this area included a game to help physics students understand how aerodynamics work and 10 things students should understand about their digital footprint, a sobering introduction to the cyber world.
Some Tweets are simply shout outs for teachers to gossip and hang out in the virtual world; a recent topic of conversation was a question about which Mark Twain novel was a favourite. There are also cartoons, poems and humorous articles about life as a teacher that will undoubtedly provoke a secret smile amongst others in the profession.
A Twitter account from an assistant head teacher who also writes for The Guardian, the man behind the posts has won awards for his musings. @TeacherToolkit is a very active Tweeter and is also responsible for @SLTChat, a forum for teachers interested in school leadership. One of the most recent topics under discussion was ‘Morale boosters for tired staff’ whilst another popular subject recently featured in the forum was ‘How do teachers lead school improvement?’. A place for teachers to find empathy and understanding in fellow professionals, as well as the opportunity to get fresh ideas from others in the field, the Tweets from the @TeacherToolkit group are incredibly popular.
A fusion of news, views, blogs and videos, this Twitter feed relates to The National College. There are discussions for teachers to join in, such as ‘what do you wish you’d known as a new head?’ plus up to the minute information about new qualifications and columns on subjects of interest to teachers such as upcoming seminars and workshops. Teachers can join the National College for no charge and the Twitter feed is an unlimited pool of information for inspiration about lesson topics, themes and alternative teaching approaches.
4. @ EdnFoundation
A truly innovative Twitter feed, The Education Foundation is the first cross-sector think tank in the UK which has a bias towards reform and confronting policy challenges. A prolific re-Tweeter, The Education Foundation is a great portal where all kinds of posts and news updates can be found, along with who originally posted them (another great way to identify even more interesting Twitter feeds to follow!). Despite being such a great source of news, industry updates and information, The Education Foundation is just twelve months old, making its popularity on Twitter an even more impressive achievement.
An inspirational social enterprise, @humanutopia is committed to the six principles that OFSTED quotes, along with many other related themes along the way. Themes discussed during November included bullying, autism and embracing diversity. With plenty of links to inspirational quotes, bespoke courses and newsletters, this Twitter account is one to lift your heart. And for anyone deeply affected by the topics in any of their forums, additional support and advice is also provided via an external website.
The above five Twitter feeds are just a tiny fraction of the many out there, a number which is growing every day. With organisations increasingly using Twitter as a means to reach their audience, the practical uses for social media are seemingly unending.
Whether you are a social media veteran or a Twitter virgin, looking for teaching jobs in London, Manchester, Paris or Rome, you will be able to easily navigate around the above accounts to find the information which is of interest to you.
Author info:An article by Danielle Wright, an experienced Education writer and avid social media user.