My Turn to #Battt

Over the past few months, I have developed a serious Twitter addiction. I’m certain that many of you know the major symptoms. It begins slowly enough with a sense of curiosity which rapidly develops into a full blown obsession … or is that just me? I do know that Twitter has become my PD of choice. Recently, there has been a suggestion, from some, (I call them the misguided) that educators are not actually learning a great deal from their Twitter interaction. I’m certainly keen to dispute that claim; the vast majority of what I now do in the classroom has been crowd sourced from Twitter. Further, much of my understanding about the key issues in contemporary education has grown from discussions with my tweeps.

The challenge of capturing precisely what you wish to say in 140 characters or less demands that you think carefully. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of succeeding in this respect and have realised that it also appeals to students. Just today I asked my new Year 8 students to describe themselves in 140 characters. I quickly had some complaints along the lines of “… this is so hard!” However, none of them gave in and were working on third or fourth drafts when the all too short lesson ended. Needless to say, I am keen to see what they come to class with tomorrow. I will certainly be tweeting some of their descriptions, anonymously, from my own Twitter account.

Until last week, my pleading with other teachers to join this social media giant had fallen on deaf ears. Many saw Twitter as simply being a platform for social inanities. Then I came across the hash tag #Battt … which, if you haven’t encountered it, is an acronym for “Bring a Teacher to Twitter.” So I set out to do just that by conducting a short PD session which ended in some active tweeting. I now have introduced eight of my colleagues to Twitter. They all remain tentative but I will certainly continue to help in building their PLNs. I have embedded below, via Scribd, my presentation on “Using Twitter to Build a PLN.” I would be delighted to have any of my readers download and use it; especially if it enables you to #Battt.

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Using Twitter to Build a PLN by Simon McKenzie

10 thoughts on “My Turn to #Battt

  1. I love the idea of #Battt. I will be taking on this challenge during the week. Introducing staff to the idea of #backchanneling is also interesting. Teachers always seem to have alot to say. using this with students is one of the best critical thinking tools I have used in the classroom.
    Great blog Simon. I am off to check out Haiku Deck.

    • Hi Nat, it was great to run into you last weekend. I’m also more than impressed that you took the time to find the “Connected Teacher.” I have learned of course that converting most teachers to the Twitterverse is a challenge fit for Hercules! But I’m enjoying the challenge immediately … despite the “slow burn.” Do check out Haiku Deck; I am one of their 10 international “gurus” and will be presenting about the app and its classroom uses at conferences in August. I’m also trying to build a following here on the Gold Coast … so if Dora is ever looking for a speaker, you know where to find me. My presentation “The New Mindset” has now had more than 3000 downloads in over 30 countries! And even Aquinas seemed to approve lol. Please do keep in touch, we’d love to have you visit 🙂

    • Hello Lee … a belated thank you for including a link to my blog post on your own site. Unfortunately, I’ve had limited success in bringing my colleagues to Twitter but I will keep “fighting the good fight.”
      Thanks again for your support,
      Simon @connectedtchr

  2. Great to see #battt hitting the global waves even more. Check our blog: batttuk.wordpress.com for more help and advice and follow us on twitter too @batttuk

    • Hello Ben, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Rest assured I am actively championing Twitter at every possible opportunity. As I just mentioned in a reply to you on Twitter … I’m now working to get young, student teachers on board. You might also be interested in reading my recent guest post on Fractus Learning entitled “You Can’t Play Tennis with a Golf Club” … which is actually about Twitter! Will certainly check out your blog.
      Best wishes
      Simon @connectedtchr

  3. Hello, as one of the co-founders of #battt (alongside @mrwaldram), thank you for your great write-up and very useful slides!

    • Hello Stephen and please forgive my very belated reply. I’ve been working two jobs these past few weeks filling in as a sessional tutor at one of our universities. Pleasingly, I have been able to convince several young pre-service teachers of the value of joining Twitter (…and following me of course!) Glad you found value in my slide presentation.
      Thanks for your initiative in starting #battt
      Simon

  4. Seems like we followed a similar Twitter trajectory, Simon. This summer I realized the real potential of Twitter/PLNs as the most personal relevant PD available. I’ve been hooked since. Was totally unfamiliar with #BATTT. Thanks for the heads up. Also, love the idea of 140 character descriptions from students!

    • Hey Britt … thanks for the feedback and please forgive my tardy reply. The great irony of Twitter is that those who would benefit most … don’t even know of its possibilities! I try to use Twitter with my classes in various other forms from back channels such as Today’s Meet to Post It Notes (which we call Stone Age Tweets). Do keep in touch and enjoy the Twitter journey.
      Simon @connectedtchr

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