This blog post (To Tweet or Not to Tweet) has so much packed into it:
- harnessing technology
- “the classroom without walls”
- effective engagement of students
- the humanizing of the classroom
- appropriate use of social media
It demonstrates that a simple idea, utilising an inspired approach to new media, can reach students and have an impact on achievement.
The argument will be, as has emerged recently, that new media does not encourage young people to engage in the deeper, critical thinking that traditional approaches to learning in the classroom allow. Helen Fraser, of the GDST, has said
We’re so used to fast facts that we’re in danger of losing sight of the truth that some learning is more of a slow casserole, with knowledge stewing in our minds to form a richer, deeper flavour
Yet the degree of engagement of a larger number of students surely has the benefit of opening the doors to this opportunity. It is up to teachers then to draw people in to the further engagement about the many, exciting and relevant issues that emerge from Shakespeare and, indeed literature in general.
Making connections with past ideas, informing your own and enabling this to enrich your life is what we seek in the education of young people. Good learning takes place when educators inspire their students. You can do this with Twitter, you can do this with a group of children under a tree. It is the inspiration that counts, not the technology. It is merely a tool.