Twitter and Student Access

Why Are Some Sites Blocked?

I am sharing a letter with everyone that summarizes the financial and legal responsibilities we have as a district to monitor student access. We all have opinions about how much access students should have. All decisions are made with the safety of students in mind, first.

From a classroom management perspective, filtering is a must. I'd rather focus on my student learning goals than spend time policing every new distraction my students discover, appropriate or otherwise.

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Twitter is now open for student use outside of school only. Students will be able to use Twitter for educational purposes on school-owned Chromebooks. Many of us use Twitter for professional growth and personal learning, but this is new for a majority of us. While I encourage all teachers to consider using Twitter to become connected educators, I do not encourage the student use of Twitter unless it is right for you. Opening Twitter for students outside of school was a request made by teachers who are ready and excited about this educational opportunity. Doing so does not imply that all teachers should begin using Twitter with students now.

As a side note, like you, I, too, am considering all learners. How do I support my techie teachers that are ready to move on without overwhelming those that are eager to learn but are in the beginning stages? I will continue to share resources, but please, move at a pace you are comfortable with. As long as we are all moving and learning, the pace is not necessarily that important. It is the growth that matters.

As a 1-1 district, we have even more responsibility as educators. We have to consider technology skills, for both students and ourselves. We have to integrate digital citizenship as we move forward. We wouldn't expect our kids to do well on an exam that assessed skills they've not yet experienced. We wouldn't give someone without a license keys to a car unless there was someone present to guide them. We have to be sure we are giving our students the skills they need before setting them free. Yes, making mistakes and allowing students to explore is a piece to this. The conversation of finding the right balance continues.

If you plan to use Twitter to allow your students to connect within our district, with others, and with you outside of school hours, be sure to follow our East Porter County School Corporation Student Twitter Expectations