Tweeting to Learn
by Jessica Tran
This year, the school administration allowed Mr. Wiggin to create a Twitter account for his 10A World History class. Students could follow @Wiggin_History to get updates about assignments. This is different from having a class website because it is the first to use social media as a permitted form of teacher to student contact after hours and it is quicker than email. The account allows students and Mr. Wiggin to communicate about quizzes or homework questions and he has used his account to tweet reminders, maps, tips, and homework assignments.
There were rules set by the administration: profile pictures must be of three or more students or of something else such as a sports team or icon and no inappropriate tweets.
The twelve students have not disobeyed these rules. Students have said that it is easier than emailing and waiting a few hours. However, Audrey Hallahan, a sophomore, said that “With the websites teachers have everyone can go onto it, but not everyone has a twitter account.” A valid point considering that only about half of the class follows @Wiggin_History.
Mr. Wiggin answered a few questions that BHS News had.
Who came up with the idea?
“It was my idea, but administration supported and backed it up.”
Have students been using it?
“Sometimes, some have used it but not 100%. There are at least 12 using it.”
Has it been helpful?
“Yes I would say so. It helps with short and straightforward instant direct communication.”
Do you hope to expand it to other classes?
“Absolutely. 110% because they would definitely use it.”
Can you picture every teacher using it?
“Theoretically, yes. I suppose it depends on the teacher. If they are current and up to date then yes, but if not then they may not use it.”
Are there any cons to it?
“Absolutely. It opens Pandora’s box, in the sense of students putting personal information on twitter. The wall between personal and academics gets weak, and you would want them to keep separate.”
Has it made kids keep up in comparison to your 10A classes in years past?
“I don’t know, because this class would do homework no matter what since it is a level one class. With this class yes, but I’m curious too if the other class would use it. This is really intended for the level three classes, since they are the kids who don’t always bring home their books. It would be more useful to them.”
So what do you think, do you want your teacher to tweet? Or would you rather keep school and personal life completely separate?