Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock!. Learning and Leading with
Technology, 37(8), Retrieved from
Summary: Middle school teacher Hadley Ferguson's article on using twitter as a networking mechanism is something that will undoubtedly prove invaluable to me as an educator. The piece is basically an in-depth exploration of how people, including teachers, can use twitter to build alliances with likeminded people in order to learn how they can improve their lifestyles and professions, as well as help others do the same in turn. For example, she writes of herself following history and middle school teachers on twitter because those are individuals whose books she can take pages from as it were. She mentions how the simple act of posting a link to another website as part of a "tweet" is how twitter can be a way-stop toward expanding a person's sphere of resources.
Question 1: What are the possible disadvantages of using twitter as a networking mechanism?
As Ferguson herself notes, "tweeting" can be be very addictive. It can be addictive to the point that a teacher might put all their egss in twitter's basket, and forget that twitter should ideally be just one of many information-gathering and -sharing resources in an educator's arsenel. Not relying too much on any one tool is the key to success.
Question 2: How can students (as opposed to teachers) use twitter as an educational tool?
Students can use to twitter to gather and share information when working on group projects, for example. Or they can use it to build alliances with students outside their class but who may be taking similar classes as them, or have taken the same or similar classes already; they can reach out to potential mentors or study-buddies that way. They can also use it find out more about the educational system and hence learn how they might be more proactive in making possible changes as they see fit. The possibilities are endless.