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Connected: Digital Literacy for Gen Z

Dr. Julie Wood

Julie M. Wood, a former public school teacher and reading specialist, is a nationally recognized educational consultant with a special interest in digital learning tools. Join Julie in 2012 as she shares best practices in using educational technology and media in the classroom and at home.

Can Twitter be a helpful tool for teachers?

December 20, 2012

I confess. I've had a Twitter account for over a year, but I'm just really getting started. I've been following several cool, innovative educators for several months. But I've also been following media gurus, such as Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, and Anderson Cooper. Oh yes. And Steve Martin. President Obama. And Close Reads Café. So, you could say I'm a little all over the place and you'd be right.

Not so educator and Twitter enthusiast, Marc André Lalande, who takes a much more focused approach to Twitter. Lalande is organized. He uses Twitter for professional networking with other educators and saves all of his social networking for Facebook.

Lalande is so convinced that Twitter is not just a passing fad, but an important tool for educators, that he created a short, humorous video on YouTube called "To Tweet or Not to Tweet." I highly recommend that you go to the Edutopia website and spend a few minutes watching it.

In the video, Lalande walks you through the various ways he's benefitted from the far-reaching exchange of ideas that Twitter offers. He makes it sound like a giant cocktail party where you can find all sorts of exciting people with great ideas and resources. In fact he offers up five educators who he thinks you might want to follow, from @InnovativeEdu, by Lisa Neelson, to Sir Ken Robinson (@SirKenRobinson), an English author, speaker, and international advisor on Education, to his own tweets @malalande.

All this in 140 characters? Well, yes.

While you're there, why not check out the other videos about Twitter on the Edutopia site, including "Twitter Search in Plain English," "Twitter for Teachers — What Do I Post?" and "Four Great Twitter Apps for Teachers Using Twitter in the Classroom"?

What do you think? Could Twitter be a game-changing for you? Or a rabbit hole leading to wasted time and missed deadlines? Let us know!

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