I have been on Twitter for just over a year now and continue to find it the most amazing resource. It’s like a virtual staffroom where I can access a stream of links, opinions, ideas and resources from an interesting and informed group of fellow educators world-wide. For someone working in additional support needs, dotting between 42 schools, it’s the staff room I most frequently inhabit.

 

And it’s a very special staffroom as there I find people all passionate about their area of interest, keen to learn and share – and support. One could not say that about all physical staffrooms! I have learned more about how to enhance my teaching this year than ever before through Twitter.

It’s educational (and a bit of social!) networking at its very best.

I hadn’t however given any thought to using Twitter with youngsters. Thanks to @literacyadviser I recently came across a fabulous connection to a class of 5 and 6 years olds who are Tweeting, @GiraffeClass. I gather that a different child has the responsibility to record what the class has been doing that day – as you can see from the screen shot.

What a wonderful idea. How delighted the parents must be to see such immediate evidence of thinking and writing and how valuable for the teacher to have such data.

This demonstrates to the little ones and their families how their literacy skills are developing. It is also a great method of showing how connected we all are today. Tweeting must also develop the children’s media literacy skills: ‘viewing, analysing and discussing a wide range of texts and using available technologies to create text in different formats’.

Later on, the discipline of the 140 characters will help the children to be precise in their writing, teaching them in a very real and unthreatening way that revision of ideas and careful word choice is essential to get your message across. It also encourages development of keyboard skills. Feedback (I don’t really know how that works with Giraffe Class to be honest) can be immediate. There’s nothing more exciting than having your thinking validated by a comment – especially if it’s from someone you haven’t met!

Finding this cheered me up no end!