On Friday, Dawson did not hold classes so that all of our teachers and administrators could attend an Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS) professional development event at Graland Country Day School in Denver. The presenter was Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, and the topic was, broadly, 21st century education. Her initial question to all of us was, “For what year are you preparing your students? 1975? 1995? 2025?” Her point was that schools are designed with the 20th century in minds and that all schools need to make significant adjustments in curriculum, pedagogy, and priorities to adequately prepare students for a world quite different from what it was at that time. In future blogs, I will speak more to how Dawson is addressing these specific challenges, but today I want to focus on another aspect of her presentation: Twitter.
I have had a Twitter account since the beginning of the school year. Suffice it to say that it has received even less use than my
Facebook account, which I have pretty much abandoned. I did not know how Twitter worked, and it seemed to me to be something to be used more for social purposes. I was worried about a flood of information. I did not know where to start. Who would I follow (other than Dawson (@Dawson_School)? Would I tweet? Who would follow me? I did not even know whether I should use my real name for the account (I should). The questions, suspicions, and excuses, were many.
Dr. Jacobs changed my mind. First, she made the point that as educational professionals we have a responsibility to be the best we can be at our craft. This means, among other things, using relevant technologies and modeling a spirit of discovery for our students. Second, she demonstrated how important and useful Twitter can be in connecting with people and... » read more