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Twitter as an Educational Tool

March 6, 2012

Twitter as an educational tool is one not to be underestimated.  When I first signed onto the service roughly 2 years ago as a 1st year student at McGill University, I found Twitter to be a bit childish and purposeless.  It seemed like all I was expected to do was answer a simple question “What’s happening?” or “What’s on your mind?”.

2 years later, Twitter has opened up a brand new world for me.  I’ve been able to connect to a large community of physical and health education teachers and associations around the globe.  This has led to a lot of interacting and a lot of insights with teachers with varying experience and in different educational settings.  Most recently, I’ve been working on a presentation in which I have to compare my province’s curriculum (Quebec Education Program) to that of New South Wales in Australia.  For this, I decided that the class would benefit from hearing directly from the source and I was able to contact personal development health and physical education teachers @benpaddlejones & @clarindabrown from the area for their thoughts on their own curriculum.  Furthermore, I’ve had the honor of sharing information such as what apps teachers were using in their gymnasiums, how they were integrating technology in physical and health education, and I even had the honor of having Dr. Ashley Casey from the UK write a guest post on my site.

This brings me to the final point that I want to make.  What I really enjoy about the Twitter experience is that, in essence, everyone is on level playing field.  When I say this, I don’t mean that a physical and health education teacher with 10+ years of experience is “equivalent” to a 3rd year student in physical and health education like myself.  What I mean by this statement is that regardless of your level of expertise, you can still contribute and engage in meaningful and purposeful discussion with other professionals in your field and truly influence tomorrow.  Your thoughts and ideas are valued by the community just as much as you value those of the professionals around you.

I truly believe that social media sites have the power to fuel education in the 21st century, but only if used “correctly” and for the right purposes.  As seen below, Twitter as an education tool can increase mental engagement in a course whether it be inside or outside the classroom setting.

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