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A little bird told me Twitter is where it's @

letters | Published in TES magazine on 30 November, 2012 | By: Dr David James

Your excellent - and timely - cover story on teachers who blog and tweet ("Where it's @", 23 November) explored a rapidly developing area that might have more impact on teaching across all sectors than any number of government-funded initiatives. Using blogging as a way of spreading good practice will undoubtedly benefit many teachers and their students but of course it is endemic to the blogosphere that although there are gifted writers who make a genuine contribution to learning there is also a huge amount of untested dross.

Twitter, however, is different: it has introduced me to more ideas - from hugely experienced and successful teachers - than any course in professional development I have attended. The succinctness of a tweet, its immediacy and economy, is crucial for busy teachers. Perhaps most importantly of all, it allows teachers from all sectors to rise above petty political point-scoring so that they concentrate on pedagogy, as well as the issues that unite all those who care about learning. Twitter is dismissed only by those who don't use it; for those who do use it intelligently it can be a daily source of professional improvement. Twitter is a conversation, and teachers should increasingly be involved in shaping it into a conversation about learning.

Dr David James, Wellington College.


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