Monday, August 24, 2009

Twitter Has Arrived (if you didn't notice...)

Today was the first day of the year for all faculty.

We've got a day of meetings with departments tomorrow followed by a day of tech camp for incoming Freshmen.

In exciting Twitter-related developments, I gave a short presentation based on what I delivered in Cambridge a couple weeks back and it went over gangbusters. Got several teachers on board both for using Twitter to build a PLN as well as to investigate applications of Twitter in the classroom.

Also, this past week saw our school open its own Twitter feed for the purpose of communicating info with parents and students. Our athletics, alumni, and campus ministry departments all started Tweeting as well.

This could be it. This could be a watershed moment in getting past the fear of social media. Folks are hungry for it; in all of my conversations today it was all people were talking about.

And what were the things that have seemed to put it over the top and haul it right into the mainstream?

Iran and TIME magazine.

That's the difference a summer makes.

Six years ago, we were talking about MySpace like it was a den of thieves just waiting to swallow up our children. Today, the principal is Tweeting and the Rugby team and Film Club have their own Facebook pages.

Now, we just got to get it right. Keep the ship on its course.

It's all about extending those 'right relationships' that teachers have been taught how to develop into the digital world. And it's all about modeling digital citizenship and healthy social media choices to our students.

And it's got to be an everyday thing. Social Tech should not be a 'special event'. It should be as common in schools as pens, pencils, desks, and chairs. It should be naturally integrated into the very fabric of school life.

I'm slated to give a presentation to our parent community in a few weeks. The topic is social technology in education. Because parent knowledge and parent involvement is the key. It's time to talk about social media directly to the folks who trust us with the education of their children.

Here's to the future. The future is now.

And if you can't tell, I'm extremely proud of the John Carroll School, a little independent Catholic high school that's jumped right to the forefront of the digital age.


  1. The same thing is happening at my school. We are unsecuring our wireless!!!!! We have become a Google School!!...we are in the cloud!!! It is better than one-to-one....hand-helds in the classroom are at the teachers discretion....I am trying to convince everyone to run Twitter Feeds on their projectors....We are making a difference!!

  2. I love your turn of phrase "right relationships" I have been proposing that Education is really about relationships. We learn from people we know car about us. The concept, though, has been that any online relationship is inherently sinister, evil, and predatory. While I don't extol the idea that we should be facebook friends with all of our students there is a right way to forge "right relationships" in the digital world. A fan page for my class where I can post updates to all the students, a Twitter account for test reminders. A blog for announcements. The digital landscape is really no longer a den of thieves and thank you for articulating it so well!

  3. Interesting post! What caught my attention is the idea that "It [technology] should be naturally integrated into the very fabric of school life." This brings forward the idea of "normalization" proposed by Bax. I think it is a long time 4 us to see such a normalization in educational institutions where the technology is normalized as the pen and paper where students and teachers do no notice that there is something new ( a tool).
    Every technology tool whether web-based or an application lends itself to develop a certain skill (e.g word processor affords itself to enhance writing skills) but technology is still a tool manipulated by the teacher to harness its power so educating teachers on technology is a must and crucial if want to normalize technology in schools.
    As for twitter, I think it is an excellent way to communicate with parents but as for students I would rather prefer edmodo with its secured features.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.