I work for the Prairie South School Division in Saskatchewan. PrairieSouth joined twitter last year and sporadically add tweets. I think it could be far more effective than it is. I thought it a good idea.
Absolutely; I joined the twitter stream out of technological curiosity assuming there was little point to rambling remarks about the episodes of my life. Okay, I have been known to tweetphoto a poorly parked truck at the mall (It was abandoned across three spaces and the engine was running!) but I also found it a professional tool.
I work for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District... Earlier this school year they began to use Twitter to communicate with parents, staff, and (I suppose) students. However, they also block it on campus... So I would have to say not everyone is on board. : (
I think we need to come to terms with what learning is today and how it happens. Blocking social networking is a traditional response. I work in a classroom with two or more differentiated groups. How natural for my students (or colleagues at a conference) to collaborate and information share during the stream of the lesson. Students whisper and move about the room seeking collaboration. The traditional response is to nail them down and foster solitary effort.
Last night I audited a university session using Elluminate. Here is a recording of the session for those that missed it. http://bit.ly/zxA0f . Participants chatted in the background commenting, asking questions, answering questions, offering links; the instructor seemed to monitor all of this chatter and frequently responded to the participants. It was brilliant.
If I could achieve 1-1 in my classroom and each student had their own laptop (I teach grade four and five), then I would allow Twitter. We need to teach appropriate use of these networks in education. There might be moments to ask the students to put these tools aside and demonstrate what they can do without help. Demonstrating benchmarks is not the same as learning.
I work for Lansing School District in Kansas and we are currently using Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is mainly being used as a High School communication tool for upcoming events and results of activities. We currently have 1035 fans to the page (school district of about 2400 students, 800 high school students.) Really has exploded with lots of good feedback. We created a fan page for people to subscribe to. Superintendent is on Board.
That is great. Time consuming as it may seem, wee need to explore all avenues of communication, not simply select one. So many social networking applications have become interconnected. Twitter and Facebook are very powerful. Tweets and updates can go everywhere these days.
Actually is a part of a class that maintains district website through Joomla as well as Facebook and Twitter for communication. We have gotten to some classroom conversations about Digital Citizenship and Online Safety that are very abstract for students. As we have many students that are fans of the page we are also going to post Digital Citizenship information and Online Safety information for students and parents through those sites. Great way to connect and meet students where they are.
I say yes it would be useful. Texts, Twitter, Radio, whatever gets the word out. You mentioned resistance to the media earlier. It is understandable but frustrating. We are not pushing fads here, we are finding applications for the new infrastructure of communication in this century. Facebook may be toppled from its eminence by some new application, till it is we need to use it. I bought a Blackberry last year and naturally enough I have noticed the increasing presence of smart phones. I was a long time Palm Pilot user - very much a niche technology, something for the Daytimer people (had that too!). Smart phones are different. Your eleven year old will have a smart phone. We have to do this.
We've just been discussing how to use social media as a high school. What usage policies do we need to present? How often do we update? Who will update and how do we use the page to develop an alumni network, school club network, and communicate with our community? How dangerous is bullying or offensive comments? We're working it all out but having the school secretary update Facebook using twitter, since Facebook is blocked, could bypass a webmaster bottleneck and make it easy to interact with tech savvy students. Here are some links I was able to research via Google:
Thoughts on schools using Facebook:
At Pella CSD we use twitter to roll out HS and MS announcements, guidance, and some sporting event info. When secretaries add info to website (Drupal based) it gets auto posted to Pella CSD Twitter account. Just getting around to setting up a fan page in Facebook.
I made an account on Twitter for my school ( http://www.twitter.com/groenhorst ) this year. We are a vocational college in the Netherlands, for students aging 16-22. An age where you would expect a large acceptation and use of Twitter.
Due to the fact that not many pupils are using Twitter from their mobile phones, I don't think Twitter will be largely integrated within schools for at least a year or so.
Pupils use mobile phones almost 24 hours a day. But many of them don't have internet on it yet. Even in our country, it will take some time before they will be able to use Twitter from their mobile phones. We have a school population of about 1500 students; only 29 of them subscribed to our school-account on Twitter yet.
So, I see some future for Twitter when teachers gonna use it to announce they won't be at school early morning because they are ill or something like that. Or a school might use Twitter to announce new articles on the schools website. Things like that.
My guess is that Twitter will be of marginal importance ( even when I myself am a true Twitter-addict ! ).