Does using Twitter make teachers smarter?
Surely they would not use it so avidly if it made them stupid. I believe it does make them smart, firstly, because it creates smart-sets of passionate people volunteering to join extended networks with socially understood values. Second, its smarter to be in a set – as many eyes see more of the horizon. Thirdly, its life-smart to seek constant feedback and be supportive of others in your set – because it generates more collective knowledge.
Twitter has created is an irrepressible network of smart-teachers.
But being on Twitter isn’t generative unless you actively participate and manage it. So the effect Twitter had, was to create a set of very smart-teachers because in an age of unprecedented social change and technological power – Twitter became the vanguard, essential to learn about complex semantics.
Today it’s the IV-drip of professional development – and the best example of game based learning I can think of.
We often see infographics with mind-blowing statistics about the Internet. Its ignorant to think that smart-teachers on Twitter are not also using this mass-scale effect. Teachers on Twitter spend millions of hours a week collectively solving problems.
The required amount of self-directed learning teachers have to do in NSW (if they started after 2008) is 20 hours a year. Smart-teachers do that a week.
They are learning about subtlety, ambiguity and contradictions in real time, which isn’t something that can be said for those tittering rather than Twittering.
The question to ask is– what do we want? not why we do it. The latter is a stupid question.