doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

The right to tweet

The conversation behind the “P” in PLN post I made yesterday continued into Sunday.  And, because I was in the original message, I got notifications for them all.

The content had changed as well.  Participants had got away from PLN for learning and the conversation got around to discussing whether or not teachers should be or are free to converse about anything they wanted.

I had half an eye on the conversation but my real focus was on the Japanese Grand Prix.  Once Vettel’s red car left the race though, I spent more time paying attention to what was going on.

I caught the conversation when it turned to administrators monitoring individual teacher accounts.  I’ll admit that I was skeptic; is that really a task for someone who is running a school and making all that money?  But, it wasn’t just one of two side notes; there were a number of people who indicated that this was a reality.  Even the troll who chooses to be anonymous that I had previously blogged about left a comment.

It was interesting as well to see the conversation turn to more people choosing to become anonymous.  Quite frankly, they get zero credibility from me.  If you want to have credibility and a believable voice, it needs to be personal and accountable.

This isn’t the first rodeo around this topic and I’m sure that it won’t be the last.  I can remember an OTF session years ago about this and the advice from Bob Fisher “Don’t Do Stupid Things.”

In the discussion, Andrew Campbell pointed us to a recent update by the Ontario College of Teachers and its advice.


But there are issues.  Do you challenge a decision made by a school or a district by taking it to Twitter?  In the fire hydrant of tweets, will it really be caught by those who could make change?  Is there not a better way to bring a topic forth than tweeting about it?  Any school or district worth its salt will have a process for input.

Also into the discussion, we had a principal, Twitter user David Garlick.  I asked him, as a principal, what his approach would be.  I captured his thoughts in this Storify document.

There was a great deal of solid discussion and I’d encourage you to follow it if you’re interested.  Paul McGuire has created his own Storify document to save the discussion.

What are your thoughts?  Twitter never closes down so you’re able to jump into the continuing conversation where you feel appropriate.


3 responses to “The right to tweet”

  1. I had an interesting adventure within a “walled garden” environment once. A number of years ago, our board chose to shutter unused classrooms, in order to save on janitorial hours. There was a list in the memo making this request of which classrooms to close down first. Number one on the list was dedicated Core French classrooms (because we can always teach off a cart). My principal was appalled, and shared the document with me (I had a room at the time) . I brought the topic up in the FSL teachers forum (on First Class at the time), and people expressed their frustration (without profanity, I might add). The thread was very quickly shut down with a comment to the effect that the forum was for curriculum discussions only. Big Brother was watching….


  2. I also have to say that I give a ridiculous amount of props to my current SO. He is not only the first SO I have had that uses socmed, he doesn’t just cheerlead, but shares what he’s learning, and asks questions.


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