Assignment: Education-Twitter and Education

Reported by Lisa Klein


To some people, Twitter is just another way to chat with their friends on the Internet.

“When I was first introduced to Twittering that’s the perception that I had… oh… I don’t care that you ran 5
miles today. I am a busy person. I have lots of things to do,” said Jeanne Halderson, Longfellow Middle School 7th
grade teacher.

But Halderson says she soon learned there are many more important uses for the social networking site.

“I’m using Twitter as professional development,” said Halderson, “and as a way to get out the word about what
technology can do for kids and for teachers.”

“I think there are a lot of schools that have no idea of what the potential of Twitter could really bring to them,”
said Penny Reedy, Longfellow Middle School principal.

Twitter was created about four years ago. It’s a micro-blogging service where posts or “tweets” as they’re called…
are no more than 140 characters. Halderson says by choosing the right agencies to follow on Twitter, she and her
students can learn a lot.

“Twitter is a way that you can connect with experts in any field,” said Halderson. “If you want to know about the
latest rocket launch, you can get on NASA’s web site. And they put on instantaneous messages about what the people are

To maximize the learning opportunity for her students, fellow teachers and parents, Ms. Halderson has opened three
Twitter pages. One page, called Longfellow_LAX, represents the middle School. A second page, called “HaveToRead,” is
where Ms. Halderson rates adolescent books her students might be interested in reading. And a third page is called

“That web site is what I use to talk about what my students are doing. And my hope is that some day, as Twitter
becomes less of an emerging technology and it’s just something that we do, that more parents will follow along with
what my classroom is doing,” said Halderson.

And as our society relies more and more on technology in our everyday lives, Halderson believes it’s important to
make sure it’s incorporated into the classroom

“Technology is just another tool. I can use a text book. I can use a trade book. I can use technology,” said
Halderson. “So, whenever I feel that technology is the best use to find information or to create it that’s when I use

And if technology is driving our society, educators at Longfellow believe it’s important to show kids how to use

“I think we have a responsibility as educators to role model appropriate use of the social networking sites,” said
Reedy. “And I know my teachers will be the ones to do it.”

Pioneering the way for students, parents and fellow educators.