Following on from my Beginner’s Guide to Edu Twitter, I was going to write an Advanced Guide but I realised I didn’t know much – so instead I’ve written this….erm thing.
- You’ve now got the hang of twitter – you’ve either given up in disgust or got totally hooked.
( I was listening to ‘Organised Mind’ on Radio 4 this week where it spoke of rats who received small rewards – these were similar to a favourite or a retweet on Twitter. The rats became so addicted to the small shots of dopamine they got from these small rewards that they chose to forgo food and other comforts just to get their fix of dopamine. So it looks like I am going to die alone and starving with only my iPhone and twitter for company. Yes, I am a dopamine addict).
- You will by now have experienced some true friendships despite never having met the person behind the Twitter handle.
- You may also have found people who are:
A. Ridiculously liberal to the point of thinking they need not be in the classroom at all or,
B. Ridiculously right-wing and think all schools should be run under a military style regime.
- You may be wondering if some of the teachers even like children or thinking that others are Patchouli Oiled funsters with no interest in rigour at all.
- You may have gone from thinking all teachers think the same to realising OMG they want to test, teach rote and spend the majority of their time teaching students how to put their hands up or line up for break time. And there’s clicking – CLICKING. Google it.
- Or you may be thinking OMG I thought I was the only person who felt like this – there are teachers on Twitter who think behaviour is a national scandal and that most children are illiterate – this is liberating – no wo/man is an island.
- You will have heard straw man and false dichotomy a LOT.
- You will have seen Friere, Dewey, Piaget, Hirsch and Willingham mentioned a LOT.
- There’s Teach Like A Champion, 7 Myths of Teaching, Don’t Change the Lightbulbs and Punk Learning to read. Then there’s a lot of ex-teachers with books to write and a lot of teachers turned researchers.
- There’s TeachFirst, School Direct, SCITT, teaching schools, PGCEs.
- There’s Policy Exchange, Sutton Trust, the Education Endowment Fund – all appear to be run by private school boys evangelical about helping clever poor kids.
- There’s Northern Rocks, ResearchEd, Pedagoo, TLAB – teacher led conferences and teacher led CPD in the form of Teach Meets.
- There’s blogs and books and balderdash.
So this is the Twitter vacuum – a world of extremes. But actually, stepping back a bit, there’s a middle ground – traditional and progressive, direct instruction and discovery – there’s sharing of resources, givers of advice and lots of support.
There’s @betsysalt Friday hugs, #teacher5aday, @staffrm; there’s stupid jokes,funny conversations and kittens – it’s the surreal and wonderful world of Edu Twitter….now, like my blog, I need a dopamine fix.