I think there is a lot of potential with twitter. If your school is forward thinking and prepared to experiment/take risks then its certainly worth trying.
I have read recently of a school opening up its wireless network to students in lesson time. With most students now having internet enabled phones and with most schools have a bank of laptops, there is no reason why research should not be done more easily within the classroom. This is free access to a great resource.
Perhaps someone out there could come up with a more 'educationally sound/proof' version of twitter!
I went to a conference in December 2011 in Tasmania Australia where I saw two university lecturers/research Jeremy Novak and Michael Cowling, who talked about their research into the Twitter. Their presentation utilised a ticker bar on the PowerPoint slides, and we could enter a # tag and asked questions or make comments that were displayed on the PowerPoint slides. I and others were extremely interested and impressed by their research.
They made it very clear that the implementation of Twitter into the PowerPoint slides was to see if international and shy students would engage in class. They did emphas ise throughout the presentation that this was another way for the student to give feedback and ask questions on the PowerPoint slides and in turn help build their confidence to start asking questions verbally.
As Jeremy Novak from Southern Cross University stated in the Courier mail article “We don’t see Twitter replacing actual class participation or interaction, but it could be a very valuable tool to add to the teacher’s toolbox.”
Go to; http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/technology/to-tweet-or-not-to-tweet/story-fn5kfsdd-1226244868289
I have further looked into the use of this technology for my year 10 students and after having conversations with one of the researchers, it’s is clear that these tweets are used in class and students tweet the PowerPoint slides and not me. As I do not need to set up a personal Twitter account to receive any of the tweets that are displayed on the PowerPoint slide, the issue of impropriety is negated.
For all teachers and parents who may read this, please do your own investigation into what these researchers have said about the implementation of Twitter into the classroom and what other researchers and educators are saying about using technology in a positive way into the classroom in 2012. I also suggest you have a look around at your students and see how many of them are using the technology and take the step forward into the 21st century.
I hope this stimulates some positive and informed debate